Identifying some of the major legal risks to organisations as a result of their participation in Social Media…


Week 5 activity

‘Best Buy’ case study.



Best Buy is the world’s leading multi-channel shopper electronics dealer with shops across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China. is one of the top ten retail websites in the United States and they have one of the best customer loyalty programs of its’ kind. There are more than 1 billion visitors to their websites and 600 million visits to their U.S. stores each year.

As a major player in the retailer business, Best Buy, try to reach their customers as much as they can, promote interaction between employees within the organisation and also with their current and potential consumers and create a well known digital entity for themselves which can distinguish them from the competitors. They emerge into the social media era through many social technologies as stated:

·        FACEBOOK
·        TWITTER 
·        BEST BUY YOUTube channel


Similarly as their advent into new technology they face a rise in treats and risks that could affect the organisation. That could be related to legal, business or reputation destruction. According to DUNDAS LAWYERS they argue that the legal risks of social media technologies can be classified into five main categories:

  • Confidential Information.
  • Employment: Wrongful dismissal.
  • Technology Risks: Viruses and Malware.
  • Statutory Risk: Copyright, Privacy, TPA/CCA, Defamation and/or Fair Work Act.
  • Reputation Risks.
  • Occupation and organisation specific risks.

These can be Internal OR External Risks!

In order to prevent this from happening, many companies and businesses have already put in place Social Media Policies, and Best Buy is no different. At the beginning, they instituted the following:

     Best Buy® Social Media Policy

Be smart. Be respectful. Be human.


As a general guideline, it related to the basic human morals and ethics, and to stick by them even when communicating through the virtual world.

Best Buy’ Social Media Policy is mentioned in these Guidelines:

What You Should Do:

ü  Disclose your Affiliation

ü  State That It’s YOUR Opinion

ü  Protect Yourself

ü  Act responsibly and ethically

ü  Honor Our Differences

ü  Offers and Contests

What You Should Never Disclose:

ü  The Numbers

ü  Promotions

ü  Personal Information

ü  Legal Information

ü  Anything that belongs to someone else

ü  Confidential Information

 In case the guidelines above are forgotten or ignored, this is what could happen –

ü  Get fired.

ü  Get ‘Best Buy’ in legal trouble with clients or shareholders

ü  Cost the organisation the ability to get and maintain customers.

So this policy should eventually minimize and eliminate some of the internal or external risks that they could face.

Some examples of these threats are, when an employee publishes work related matter, financial and operational information or promotion dates.  This could cause ‘Best Buy’ to lose financially or result in a drop in the market place and thereby become more vulnerable against their competitors.

Other example is when an employee comments on the business on behalf of ‘Best Buy’ without authorisation , pretend to be someone else or share customers’ personal information which  may put ‘Best Buy’ in the position of having legal problems or loss of reputation. All these can be seen as either internal or external risks.















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