Who doesn’t know the brand Adobe? Well okay maybe some villagers in the middle of nowhere have never needed to edit a photo or create a flash animation, but otherwise…
So for those who don’t know. Adobe was founded in 1982 and focuses upon multimedia software. For the relatively small amount of research I have been able to invest so far, it appears that Adobe has thrown itself into the muddy waters of social media with as much gusto as any other social mediafied (yes I just invented a word) company of the modern era.
They have a Facebook page, where they seem to be constantly responding to unhappy customers. They have a Twitter page. They even have a page devoted to their social media team as well as page covering public commenting policy on their blog. And yes, considering the last two links come from their blog, they have a blog.
Adobe’s Social Media Risk Factors
I could probably write a thesis on Adobe’s social media presence and therefore their legal, not to mention reputational, risks. I will however cover what I see to be their three greatest social media legal risks:
Risk Factor 1 (False statements and or misleading and deceptive conduct):
With Adobe’s great degree of public exposure via its various social media platforms it is very susceptible to false statements and or misleading and deceptive conduct. Though it is always nice to have customers make positive remarks about your products, once this information is on their social media sites Adobe must have to work to ensure that statements made are true and correct, not misleading. Adobe’s social media team must monitor their various social media platforms frequently to ensure that any such content posted by the public is quickly removed.
Risk Factor 2 (Defamation):
Reading through Facebook posts made by customers, that could best be described as one sided flame wars. I can only imagine that at some point someone, or many people, must have made derogatory remarks about organizations other than Adobe. Though it would only be detrimental to Adobe if unhappy customers make disparaging remarks about their products, it would be another thing altogether should Facebookers start posting derogatory remarks about other organizations on the Adobe Facebook site.
Risk Factor 3 (Breaches of the Privacy Act):
Having read through a lot of public posts on Adobe’s Facebook page I can’t help but imagine that Adobe’s staff members, responding in particular to complaints, must have to be very cautious that they do not disclose personal information about the person they are responding to. It actually concerned me that, in many instances of customer complaints, that Adobe was asking unhappy customers for personal details. To the extent of my reading, no personal details were actual visible. I can only imagine that, being aware of privacy concerns, Adobe must go through and delete personal details from posts.
Adobe, like so many other organisations with both a large public profile and a great degree of sensitivity to the opinions of their customers, must not only have a comprehensive social media policy but must also constantly monitor its various social media sites. I personally am given to wonder whether organisation’s investments in social media may now, or at some time in the future show a marked decrease in ROI. In particular the cost of monitoring social media sites to ensure that nothing libellous, defamatory or otherwise inappropriate may eventually equate to such a blow out in costs that some organisations may choose to limit their social media profiles.
Your responses are valued
Please feel free to add any input in regards to social media legal risks that Adobe must manage that I have not covered here.
And Finally 🙂 (Warning contains some offensive language)