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January 15, 2020

            "Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or suitability of the information and materials found or offered on this website for any particular purpose. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors, and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law.

            "Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements."

            If you knew that information, how quick would you be to copy something from that website to your social media page?

            It pays to read the fine print before you go "all-in" and post information from a source that contains that fine print.  If you have a personal complaint about a local business it is your right to post that issue to social media. 

            But the "he-said, she-said, or my friend told me" is as questionable as something taken from somebody or someplace that lets you know up front that they're not responsible for the accuracy of the content.  And, makes it perfectly clear that if you use that information, you are responsible.

            Many times inaccuracies are corrected but not until a negative entry goes viral.  That can be a tremendous disservice to a local business.  Not only to them, but to the many satisfied customers of that business.

            It can also leave you holding the bag if you don't make the correction on your social media posting.

            In days past, if customers had bad experiences, they could gripe to their friends, families and co-workers, but, short of filing a time-consuming lawsuit, that's where the complaint died.

            Social media platforms allow multiple users to interact with a single piece of content. These interactions, such as reposts, "Likes" and comments, are what shape social media success, but they can also turn against local businesses if the comments are negative or off-topic.

            Because these additions to your content are not only broadcast to your followers but to the poster's contacts, they can also have an even greater reach than your own material.

            Not only that, but other related businesses can be affected because readers may think that social media responders have an affiliation with a competitor.

            So, more than one business can be negatively affected – even if that wasn't the intent of your post.

            In addition to helping communities with a healthy share of the taxes paid, local business provide jobs, support youth programs, and donate to many local charitable organizations. 

            Don't like a certain business?  Don't do business with them.  It's that simple.

            But if you feel the need or notoriety that comes from finding information online and posting it on your social media page, read the fine print first.

· End of article ·  


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