Bakersfield dentist Facebook group goes viral in a not so good way... By on August 26, 2011

Reputation management is an increasingly important aspect of having a medical practice. This case shows the power an unhappy patient wields in this day and age. Right or wrong, it's critical to open communication channels and address patient issues quickly before they explode.

Interesting quote from the article:

"Accuracy is key when it comes to any legal liability arising from posted comments, say attorneys who specialize in social media.

"Just because you say it on Facebook doesn't mean you can't be held legally liable," said Erik Syverson, a Los Angeles attorney and expert on social media issues. "If it's false, it's defamatory, and they could come back and sue you. Many people are under the false belief that the First Amendment is much broader than it is."

The definition of defamation may be no different, but social media does make it "extremely easy" to defame people, Syverson said.

"Now, everyone has a big megaphone," he said. "The average run-of-the-mill person can post on Facebook or Twitter. The ability to publish defamatory content to a large audience is unprecedented."

Bradley Shear, a Maryland-based attorney who specializes in social media, emphasized the importance of truth as protection.

"If it's true, there's not much you can do about it," he said. "Going after people for posting opinions online is very difficult."

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Link to FACEBOOK Group

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