Social media & the law

Must-knows: social media & the law24 - LEX046 Social Media and the Law - AW S3V10B

Social media & the law: essential reading for the 21st century – book review

George, Allen, Benson, Collins, Mattson, Munsie, Rubagotti & Stuart, LexisNexis 2014, $140

In its short life social media has revolutionised networking and communication. It’s overwhelmed traditional media and enabled both the individual and the small business to marshal a global audience, opening up the concept of free speech.

Yet the ‘lowest common denominator’ of people use it to harm, damage and cheat. An amazing 19 pages of this wide-ranging book contain lists of court cases that have been heard up till June 2014 in the UK, USA, Europe, Canada and New Zealand.

Eight chapters are each written by a NSW solicitor or barrister specialist. General editor Patrick George (Defamation law in Australia) has notched up 30 years of significant cases.

Social media is essentially old school.

Social media is now a valuable business tool to interact directly with customers, and for customers with one another. This user-generated content is shaking up the basic laws of advertising and marketing.

Content sharing began as far back as the 1400s, with the invention of the printing press, and evolved through the next five centuries. Social media combines the intimacy of one-on-one with the reach of broadcasting and the low entry point is access to a smartphone.

Employment law, privacy, defamation law, copyright, litigation and criminal law – each has its own chapter.

Social media is now a valuable business tool to interact directly with customers, and customers with one another. This user-generated content is shaking up the basic laws of advertising and marketing.

This erudite text makes a fascinating read. It freely admits that statistics quoted were changing as it was written, yet it gives a valuable insight into the laws that protect your business from those who are out to cause harm and often irreparable damage.

Jackey Coyle, Inside Small Business magazine

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