Social media has become part of life in various aspects. Most commonly, people use Facebook or Twitter for fun, on their own time. However, now the worlds of business and social media are often combined, and that combination can be for the good and the bad.
A flight attendant from Southwest Airlines believed that she was portrayed in a false, negative light because of how a passenger used social media. She sued a passenger who posted various tweets about how the flight attendant supposedly made mistakes and offended the passenger and her family while traveling.
An important point to note is how, in this case, the plaintiff who claims that she was defamed brought forth the case independently. This potentially could have become a fight on behalf of Southwest Airlines overall as a business, but at least as of now, the company hasn't initiated any business litigation against the disgruntled passenger.
The flight attendant's lawsuit claimed that the passenger was trying to violate the boarding rules. Even though she was in the wrong, according to the case, the passenger posted multiple tweets that made the flight attendant who was enforcing the rules out to be the problem. A court of appeals recently dismissed the case entirely.
Is this a matter that Southwest Airlines could have taken on? Business litigation can be a taxing process in regards to time, money and stress. Also, it can sometimes bring on more negative attention than what it is worth. When matters do necessitate legal action, however, having a business litigation attorney with a client's best interests in mind is crucial to protecting one's brand and bottom line.
Source: Business Insider, "A Southwest Airlines Worker Sued A Passenger Over Tweets Blasting Customer Service," Hayley Peterson, Oct. 16, 2013