The Run-Down: After a monthlong trial, a CT jury ordered talk show host, Alex Jones, to pay $965 million for his claims that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax
- The decision was reached after a monthlong trial that found Jones liable for defamation
- The jury awarded this money to 14 family members and the FBI agent
- On his platform Inforwars, Jones alleged the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, didn’t happen and the victims were actually “crisis actors.”
Why You Should Care:
This case is a reminder to watch what you say! With the importance of social media in everyday life becoming more and more clear every day, we believe we’ll see more cases such as this pop-up. And with that, we think liability for harm caused by employees will reach further, too.
Now, we’re not here to tell you what to believe… (crisis actors, really?). But – we are here to tell you that the things you say online have real-life consequences. We know that’s a lesson some of us may have gotten in elementary school (am I showing my age here?), but it rings true to this day.
Just this week, a Philadelphia pregnancy center has come under fire for the actions of a nurse they employee, with those online calling for the center to shut down entirely. Their online ratings have plummeted, with comment after comment calling out the inappropriate behavior that was caught on camera.
All of this is to say as employers, and even employees, you can’t control the thoughts or actions of others. But what you can control is how they display them in a public manner. When it comes to the workplace, ensure you’ve created an environment where harmful behavior is not accepted. While you can’t stop your employees from posting on social media outside of work, you can develop strict policies wherein your employees’ online behavior is separate from their place of employment. And even as an employee, you too can protect yourself from avoiding conflating your job with your personal life, online.