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Corporate Law

Businesses face e-discovery issues with social media

Posted Mar 24, 2014 6:00 AM CDT
By Terry Carter

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As businesses increasingly avail themselves of the benefits of social media, they might be laying legal minefields in their path if they don't archive the ever-changing content, Computer Weekly reports.

"Based on research I have conducted in the U.K. and U.S., it is clear that organizations need to take seriously the potential threat of their archiving systems not satisfying their e-discovery or regulatory requirements," says Michael Osterman, founder of Osterman Research, whose research was commissioned by the archiving company Bluesource.

Most large organizations have at least 10 Facebook accounts, with some maintaining more than 200, according to Forrester Research. About 90 percent of them have Twitter accounts. But only six percent of U.K. organizations archive social media content, according to Osterman Research, and only 20 percent have the existing capability to do so if they chose.

Companies which must maintain records of all business communications face a challenge with social media.

"Social content doesn't remain static," says Nick Hayes, security analyst at Forrester Research. "Content creators can edit or delete posts after they are published, and other posters can comment and add to the discussion as well. Further complicating matters is determining what content is considered business communication and when that content should be captured and archived."

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