BLOG #4: Legal risk of social media

Readers welcome back to my blog. In this week I will be briefly discuss some concepts in legal risk of social media to an organisation. In today’s modern generation, many organisations have been using social media as a tool to communicate efficiently, share information, increase network and improve business exposure. Having said that, there are disadvantages and risks associated when using social media for business purposes. One good example of an organisation that uses social media that could encounter several legal risks is the Centrelink.


Centrelink is a part of the Australian government department of human services that provides support to families, students, jobseekers, elderly and people with disability and financial problems. However there are many negative feedbacks that can be found in different social networking platforms about Centrelink’s poor customer service and management. So could these bad reviews affect Centrelink’s reputation and cause misleading conduct to the organisation?

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Reputation risk

Centrelink was identified as an “anti-christ” company in an online blog post. Criticising an organisation through the social media could disintegrate a company’s name and reputation. But what could cause Centrelink’s reputation to be at risk in this context?

  • Being exposed in social media
  • Difficulty of controlling social media platforms

Centrelink’s exposures to social media have pros and cons. Pros – Yes they can communicate effectively and quickly respond to Centrelink clients. However there are also cons – in this matter because Centrelink provides services to many clients around Australia. Hence, the company often have delayed response to customers’ queries, which results to negative perception of the company’s service. When this type of scenario happens, some clients will become frustrated and unsatisfied to Centrelink’s customer service. Unhappy customers will often post negative and inappropriate feedbacks, reviews and comments in social media to get attention and inform other users.

Misleading and deceptive conduct

Social media users can easily post any topic online that other users can freely see and read globally. Hence, an unhappy client can post negative feedbacks to Centrelink effortlessly and within minutes people not only in Australia but also around the world will be able to read it. Unhappy clients have the ability put deceiving and false information online to attract readers and get more attention. This fraudulent information can cause potential, new and existing clients to mistrust and criticise Centrelink.


7 thoughts on “BLOG #4: Legal risk of social media

  1. Great choice choosing Centrelink as an example of the pros and cons of media fire. I’ve most certainly heard the companies name come up in a lot of discussion about ‘poor customer conduct’, but obviously a government corporation of this side is subject to both negative and positive feed back. However I do believe that because of the sector that Centrelink is in (the sector of providing income to the people; whether they deserve it or not), they are subject to more criticism then usual. After all, finance is a large part of a persons life and if something goes wrong for them in that regard, they’re going to raise their voice in any way they can. After dealing with Centrelink myself, I can say that I don’t particularly enjoy having to pay a visit and usually what I hear about it from others, is negative; “Uuugh, I have to go to Centrelink ! God help me !”. Perhaps more working staff within Centrelink would make a difference both to customer feedback and staff workload.

    • Exactly! that is why I think that Centrelink does not deserve such criticism in my own perspective. Dealing with Centrelink is not a really hard task to do (depends in a person situation). Some people are just lazy and stubborn (that includes me lol!). Anyway thank you for your informative feedback on my blog I hope you enjoy it.

  2. This is a really good example of social media gone wrong for an organisation. I think organisations really need to think about their customers’ general opinion towards them before opening themselves up to an onslaught of criticism. Social media isn’t the answer to creating good reputation. A company must create a good reputation and then use social media to spread the word about it.

  3. Hey Chris, I guess anyone who ever received centrelink payment has their whinges. I’m curious on which sites did u find the bad reviews? And did anyone from centrelink responded?

    I would allso appreciate it if you can give me some feedback on my posts, thanks.

  4. There is always going to be a conflict between welfare providers and the clientele they service, especially with government departments. Centrelink suffers from truly restrictive procedures, and changing political imperatives. Add to all that the human factor says that mistakes will be made, people will get hurt financially, and they will resent it. Truth is very perception driven, while sympathizing with the chap in question, his situation is hardly the norm. If this demonstrates anything about social media, it is that it provides a platform for the expression of discontent. For example who would read a blog about centrelink saying, “Just transferred from new start to ausstudy and was told by centrelink employee. ‘Well that is the last I will see of you. Good luck with the course, and goodbye.'”. Yet that is effectively the conversation I had when I started at QUT. Oh yeh good post:)

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