6 useful things I have learnt about Social Media Policy

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I have just returned from an informative seminar at the Westminster eForum on ‘Policy Priorities for Social Media’. There was a bevy of industry professionals including lawyers, regulators, Heads of Marketing, Social Media and Strategy from a range of organisations.

I decided to attend the meeting and pay the fee (which was worth it) because it’s important to know the law before you train people to make video content for online campaigns. Our role in the stimulation of UGC carries a responsibility to both clients and content producers.

So, I learnt the following about social media policy and will be discussing this with my business partner over tea and biscuits:

1. Defamation laws are the same on social media as they are in the real world. Maintain common sense.

2. Even if your profile says that your RT’s are not an endorsement this does not give you any legal protection. An RT is considered to be a fresh publication, so don’t pass on malicious content.

3. In the first Twitter libel case in Britain ex-cricketer Chris Cairns won £90,000 libel damages from the former Chairman of the Indian Premier League who accused him of match-fixing. He was also forced to pay £400,000 in legal costs. That amounts to £3,500 per character.

4. Some statutes that you can infringe on social media: Public Order Act, Malicious Communications Act, Contempt of Court (jurors cannot look at the internet during a trial), Defamation Act.

5. We still have the Freedom of Expression Act (hurrah) where you can offend, disturb or shock (but within limits).

6. Social media is about liberalisation and needs to be encouraged to police itself. There is no need for additional regulation.





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