You may have set your Facebook profile settings to “Only Me” or “Friends Except Acquaintances,” but does that really give you carte blanche to write whatever you please as your status? Despite increased security and privacy measures, Facebook is still a public forum, where anything you post can come back to haunt you.
According to The Miami Herald, a family in Florida recently learned the costly consequences of over-sharing on social media. The Third District Court of Appeal threw out the final settlement of an $80,000 lawsuit against the Gulliver Preparatory School by its former headmaster based on a Facebook post. The Court ruled that the status update, written by the teenage daughter of the school’s ex-employee, broke the confidentiality terms of the settlement by broadcasting the outcome of the case online.
The daughter posted that her parents “won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.”
The status was visible to 1,200 of the daughter’s Facebook followers, many of whom were current and former students of Gulliver. School officials soon found out about the status and alerted the family’s lawyers that the terms of the confidential agreement had been broken, meaning that the $80,000 settlement would not be paid.
Confidentiality and Social Media Don’t Mix
The case began in 2010 when the father sued Gulliver for not renewing his contract as headmaster based on his age (he was 65 years old at the time) and for retaliation that involved his daughter who was a student at Gulliver.
An agreement was finally reached in 2011, in which the school would pay the former headmaster $10,000 in back pay in addition to an $80,000 settlement. As part of that agreement, the man could not disclose any information about the settlement to anyone other than his attorneys, professional advisers, and wife.
However, the teen’s Facebook post not only showed that the former headmaster violated confidentiality by telling his daughter, but also publicly advertised that he won his case against the school.
Creating a Successful Social Media Presence
At SLS Consulting, we understand that social media can play a major role in a company’s reputation and future. With our help, we can give your company the consistent and positive social media presence you need to promote your brand and services. Learn more about how we can help you strengthen your company’s social media marketing plan by contacting us online or dialing (323) 254-1510.