Social Media vs. eDiscovery Compliance reports that, as companies rush to the wild digital frontier so they can strike Social Media gold, there’s a key factor that many of them should – but aren’t – paying enough attention to: eDiscovery compliance.

And that’s a big (read: costly, angry judge, reputation damaging) problem waiting to happen, because as mountains of data continue to pile up in social media-land, court-backed eDiscovery requests are demanding that companies produce organized, accurate and timely electronic information. And they just can’t do it.

“Integration with compliance, storage and monitoring systems is a must,” a recent Forbes report noted. “Missteps have huge ramifications. Employee collaboration must take place within an environment that has real enterprise controls built into the social business platform.”

The message here isn’t to curtail social media – which is not only logistically impossible, but bad business strategy. Social media isn’t a fad. Brands and platforms might be, but the underlying fundamentals of social media are as strong as they were long, long before the Internet ever emerged onto the scene (and we actually had to wait a day or two before finding out the name to a song, or worse, learn that someone you don’t know on Twitter is having a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch).

Rather, the message is to ensure that social media use is governed by an effective and enforceable data retention policy.

It’s good advice if fines, sanctions, damaged reputations and angry judges are to be avoided.

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