I hope this finds you all doing well. Attached please find your notes on chapter 11 â€“ Legal. Please read thoroughly as this chapter will introduce you to a variety of legal issues facing the public relations practice today.
CASE STUDY â€“ Amazon v. New York Times
In 2015, the New York Times ran a negative story about Amazonâ€™s workplace conditions. To combat this negative coverage, Jay Carney, a former White House press secretary and Amazonâ€™s senior vice president for corporate affairs, criticized the New York Times story and its source on Medium.com. sources from this story included anonymous sources that did not reveal their true identities because of a nondisclosure agreement with Amazon.
A major source for this story, a former Amazon employee, Bo Olsen, gave an interview with the New York Times criticizing Amazonâ€™s workplace. In his response, Carney revealed that Olsen was under investigation for fraud during his time at Amazon. Olsen actually admitted he had attempted to defraud vendors and resigned his position because of that. This case study illustrates corporationsâ€™ willingness to use communication tactics, as opposed to legal ones, to combat negative publicity. The case study of Amazon v. NYT presents an example of the tensions between defamation and privacy laws and demonstrates how corporations use social media platforms to combat negative press attention.
For your assignment I want you suppose you work as the social media manager for the restaurant chain Best Burger. One day while scanning posts about your company, you see that someone on Twitter posted three very negative comments about Best Burger. The comments were as follows:
Tweet 1: Best Burger is the WORST restaurant EVER!!! #nevereathere
Tweet 2: Best Burgerâ€™s food tastes like cardboard. It isnâ€™t even real food
Tweet 3: Best Burger is not worth the price. They use dog food to make their hamburgers.
Assuming that Best Burger thinks its hamburgers are great and that the do not use dog food to make them, are any of these comments subject to defamation laws? Why or why not? Write a two-page paper regarding your answer.