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Lojalitetsplikt och yttrandefrihet i sociala medier
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the employees´ duty of loyalty to their employer when making statements on social media networks and if this opposes the employees´ right to freedom of speech. Another purpose of this thesis is to investigate freedom of speech from an EU juridical point of view. Also a discussion concerning gender issues on this subject takes place is presented in the thesis. The questions to answer the purpose of this thesis are the following: Where is the line drawn for what an employee can publish on a social media network without breaching their duty of loyalty towards their employer?, and How does an employee´s freedom of speech relate to these types of statements on a social media network? The method used for this thesis is the classical legal method.

The legal inquiry shows that duty of loyalty is a hidden clause in all employment contracts, and it must be respected by the employee. The duty of loyalty is applicable for the employee when they are working and on their leisure time. Explicit crimes against the duty of loyalty include threats, violence and intent to hurt one´s employer.

Regulation concerning freedom of speech on the internet exists in the EU but not in Sweden. In the public sector duty of loyalty is subordinate to the employee´s freedom of speech, while the opposite is true for the private sector. European law says that freedom of speech should also be respected between a private employee and a private employer, which is something that Swedish courts follow in their case law.

Women have shown to be using their freedom of speech less than men, even though female-dominated fields of work have worse work environments than male-dominated fields of work.

Cases that have been taken up by the court concerning statements made on social media networks have only involved male employees, even though females use social media networks more.

The investigation shows that an employee' may not make statements on social media networks that either threaten their employer or are made with intent to hurt them. Presently there does not exist any cases concerning this area where the employer has won in a court of law. When this does occur a clearer guideline regarding what type of statements are unacceptable can be established. The thesis proposes that a new freedom of speech law should be legislated in Sweden. The purpose of this is to include regulation regarding freedom of speech on the internet and to uphold European law on this matter.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 37 p.
Keyword [en]
duty of loyalty, freedom of speech, social media
Keyword [sv]
lojalitetsplikt, yttrandefrihet, sociala medier
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-24905OAI: diva2:613087
Subject / course
Legal Science
Educational program
Human Resource Management Programme, 180 credits
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2013-04-24 Created: 2013-03-26 Last updated: 2013-04-24Bibliographically approved

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