Last year, instant messages from Gawker staffers were cited as evidence in the defamation lawsuit filed by professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.
What they revealed wasn’t pretty: tasteless jokes about the former pro-wrestler’s sexual trysts and his genitals, snide remarks that weren’t meant for publication.
The transcripts quickly became a cautionary tale for journalists who might exchange sensitive information via instant message (and the companies that host them).
Newsroom instant messaging apps have only gained momentum since then, with Slack among the vanguard thanks to its ease of use and its cool-kid factor.
Journalists should exercise more caution when it comes to digital tools like Slack, said Wolfgang Goerlich, director of cyber security strategy at CBI, a risk management firm that provides security solutions for companies.
“As no chat system is immune to being misconfigured or misused, my advise is to limit any information over such channels,” Goerlich said. “Meeting in person for conversations remains the gold standard for the highest level of privacy.”
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Don’t want the public to see your newsroom’s gossip? Don’t put it on Slack.