Link Of The Week: Media law for tweeters

First published in February 2013

Twitter

As social networks make publishers of us all, the world at large is discovering that – as unruly and unregulated as the mainstream media may seem at times – editors and journalists are in fact bound by bodies of law such as defamation and privacy, and must obey court orders when passed down, however much they may seem to interfer with freedom of speech.

And as more reckless tweeters find themselves at the wrong end of litigation or criminal action, the need to educate the internet’s millions of bedroom-commentators on the basics of media law becomes apparent.

Those who tweet professionally for companies and brands, constrained as they are by the usual protocols of corporate communications, are much less likely to fall foul of the law, though anyone who takes to Twitter, Facebook et al on a regular basis should probably give this interesting BBC article on the laws of relevance to social networking a quick read.