Should Court’s Hold LinkedIn Postings to a Higher Standard than Postings on Twitter or Facebook?

In a nod toward the power of social media postings, one company sued a former employee who dragged his feet when asked to remove the company’s name from his LinkedIn profile.  Michael O. Loatman of Bloomberg Law reports that plaintiff Jefferson Audio Visual Systems, Inc. (JAVS), which fired Gordon Light, a former executive of the company, for allegedly defaming it, asked Light to “remove any indication that Light still worked for the company” from any of his social media profiles.  Light dragged his feet and the company sued for Fraud.

A District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, dismissed the claim in Jefferson Audio Visual Systems, Inc. v. Gunnar Light, failed to allege facts sufficient to prove each element of the claim.  This fraud claim required proof that the plaintiff reasonably relied on defendant’s misrepresentation.  Misrepresentation could not occur in this instance since JAVS already knew Light was no longer in its employ.

Perhaps JAVS should have found a different plaintiff.  A firm considering hiring Light following his dismissal from JAVS seems the likeliest of candidates.  Assuming the latter to be true, it suggests that there is a quality of veracity to LinkedIn that is not necessarily ascribed to other types of social media such as Twitter or Facebook.  Should we ascribe more honesty to messages posted on LinkedIn because of the nature of business nature of the site?


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