Social sharing – pass it by legal

From the Web and UX Design Accidental Encyclopedia

I had an interesting assignment where we were integrating social sharing into a large global companies Intranet. The idea was to get the many talented employees to work together, sharing their work to reduce duplication of effort and give talented people a voice. Seems like a good idea, right? Well, as always with global companies, after everyone had agreed it was a good idea, we finished the meeting with “…lets just pass it by legal”. I was volunteered for this, so I dropped by the legal department, stuck my head around the door and said “we are doing social sharing of documents on the Intranet, is that ok?”

No, no, no, no, that’s not how that works” I was told. It had to be a full blown report. What is social sharing and what are the consequences? I was not sure what that meant, so the lawyer gently explained.

“Imagine you write a document, and everybody likes it and comments that it s a great plan. The next day your manager calls you into the office and says that your services are no longer needed. You could use the comments as a legal argument that you are doing a great job. Imagine the SEO posts a comment and it gets only 3 views in a company with 160,000 employees. Imagine someone anonymously reviews the document and says it sucks? Imagine someone posts something racist or sexist, and others review and rate it? Imagine an envious colleague rating or reviewing a rival colleague unfairly?”

I got the picture, so I laid out a table showing what could be acceptable and potentially unacceptable for social sharing. It was a lot more complicated than I thought. The clue seemed to be if someone could review (state an opinion) and remain anonymous – that was out of the question. Dis-liking was also not done.

So here goes…


I left it up to the lawyers to deliberate, and finally it was decided that only sharing without commenting and “favoriting” – where it was also possible to see how many times something had been favorited. I guess in the end the lawyers will have to decide where the boundary between risk and better work efficiency lies.

Social sharing –  pass it by legal

From the Web and UX Design Accidental EncyclopediaBUY IT HERE

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