Posting incorrect information on social media or failing to update a profile can have legal consequences.
This was highlighted by the high court in Pretoria yesterday in the case of a city estate agent who was ordered to correct his employment history on professional social media site LinkedIn.
The court gave Willem van der Schyff five days within which to remove the details of former employer Daniel Crous Auctioneers from his LinkedIn profile, as it was misleading.
Van Der Schyff left the employment of the auctioneer three years ago, but his LinkedIn profile reflected that he worked there.
The auctioneering firm felt so strongly about its name being associated with that of the 56-year-old on social media that it turned to court.
Danie Crous said in papers before the court that Van Der Schyff had worked for his company from February 2013 until February 2014, when he resigned.
He worked as an estate agent and, after his resignation, it had come to Crous’s attention that Van Der Schyff was creating the impression on his profile that he was an estate agent at Danie Crous Auctioneers.
His lawyer had written a letter to Van Der Schyff demanding that he change the information, but he had refused.
“This misrepresentation can cause serious harm to the image of the applicant (the company),” Crous said.
The company said it reserved the right to claim any damages from him which could occur as a result of its name being linked to his.
For two years, numerous e-mails and text messages had also been sent to Van Der Schyff, demanding that he correct the information. He had ignored them.
The company had notified the Estate Agency Affairs Board of the false statements on Van Der Schyff’s LinkedIn profile.
Van der Schyff did not oppose the application.