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Legal aspects of Social
Media
Matthew Stephenson
Head of Information Governance
m.stephenson@salford.ac.uk



© University of Salford, April 2012
When you think of the University of Salford,
we want you to think of this…




© University of Salford, April 2012
… not this!




  © University of Salford, April 2012
Problems with Social Media

•   Proliferation
•   All things to all people
•   No rules
•   Blurring of boundaries between work and personal
•   No absolute answers




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Use of Social Media

Should be:
•   Lawful
•   Aware of other risks
•   Responsible
•   Sensible




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Lawful

Most important legislation to bear in mind:
•   Copyright
•   Privacy and Data Protection
•   Defamation and Libel
•   Court decisions
•   Other laws



    © University of Salford, April 2012
Copyright

•   Pictures and Photos
•   Pasting/ Reposting/Retweeting from copyright sources
•   Streaming
•   Use of illegal material you own the copyright to




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Privacy and Data Protection

•   Information provided by living people
•   DPA is a very big act
     •   Fair
     •   Purpose
     •   Transparency




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Defamation and Libel

Very concerning in terms of Social Media use:
•   Stating untrue “facts”
•   Use of opinion to make allegations
•   Action against individual/organisation




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Court decisions

In terms of injunctions for example
•   Identifying people who have injunctions preventing their
    identificiation
•   Applies to doing it yourself, retweeting, or just linking to it




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Other laws

Computer misuse
•   Changing someone else’s records
•   False tagging of people in photos
Disorder and terrorism
•   Inciting riots
•   Encouraging terrorism



    © University of Salford, April 2012
Aware of other risks

•   Reputational – University
•   Reputational – Personal
•   Commercial
•   Academic




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Reputational – University

•   “Please do not contact the Department of X which is closed due to
    vandalism”
•   “Here’s proof that Professor X was having an affair with his
    secretary”
•   “Alreet the lads, here’s pics from our Rugby Trip to the Toon”
•   “Here are those notes from last weeks lecture”




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Reputational - Personal

•   “Had a great night at the ‘Blue Oyster’ last night”
•   “Nobody is in the office so I am going home early”
•   Pictures on Facebook etc.
•   Links on Facebook/Blogs
     •   Love Bunny S&M site?
     •   Salford Mental Health Forum?




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Commercial

•   “Looking for another job – looks like the School is closing down”
•   “For a sneak preview into our Annual Accounts, click here”
•   “Just invented cold fusion, all I did was …”
•   “Student numbers are lower this year”
•   “Heavens above, £400,000 for the Vice Chancellor’s new desk?!”




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Academic

•   Going against the traditional academic model of publication and
    peer review
     •   Posting work on Blogs
     •   Tweeting

•   Needs a considered approach
     •   One person against the world will not work
     •   Nor will one corporate policy




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Responsible

•   Grey areas require users to act in a responsible manner
•   Students and Staff alike
•   University or Personal channels alike
•   Need balance between work/non-work




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Grey Area

•   Social media blurs the boundaries of what is professional and
    personal
•   It’s the personal stuff on professional sites and vice versa which can
    be the most interesting and insightful.
•   While you need rules they must be flexible or varied




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Staff and Students

•   All should be covered by rules relating to use of social media as
    with anything
•   Staff employment contracts
•   Student code of conduct
•   Disciplinary policies should make clear what is expected whether
    on University property or elsewhere
•   Social Media Policy


    © University of Salford, April 2012
University and personal
channels
•   Pasting inappropriate material on University channels is straight
    forward
•   On non-university channels, may seem counter intuitive but all are
    required not to bring University into disrepute
     •   Love bunny S&M site
     •   Matt Stephenson’s personal blog
     •   Matt Stephenson’s professional blog
     •   University of Salford’s Information Governance Blog


    © University of Salford, April 2012
Work and non-work balance

•   Can I post pictures of my kittens on work blog?
•   Can I talk about work on my personal blog?
•   Need to identify and specify a balance
     •   80% v 20%?
     •   ⅔ v ⅓?
     •   100% v nothing?




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Sensible

•   By institutions
•   By individuals




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Sensible institutions

•   Need rules
•   Need different rules for different circumstances
     •   Different channels
     •   Different levels in institution
     •   Corporate v departmental v student organised
     •   Staff v Student




    © University of Salford, April 2012
Rules

•   For each channel
•   For each level
•   For staff/students
•   Disclaimers
•   Which rules apply
•   Impact on other communication channels



    © University of Salford, April 2012
Sensible people

•   Keep home life mainly at home
•   Keep work life mainly at work
•   Abide by the rules
     •   Law
     •   Employer/University
     •   Website AUPs etc.

•   Remember that nothing on the internet is private


    © University of Salford, April 2012
In Summary

•   There are laws you must abide by
•   More importantly, your reputation may be damaged by use of social
    media
•   Institutions and Individuals alike must act responsibly and sensibly
•   There is no magic bullet
•   Rules, flexibility, responsibility and sensibility are key!



    © University of Salford, April 2012

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Legal Aspects of Social Media

  • 1. Legal aspects of Social Media Matthew Stephenson Head of Information Governance m.stephenson@salford.ac.uk © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 2. When you think of the University of Salford, we want you to think of this… © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 3. … not this! © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 4. Problems with Social Media • Proliferation • All things to all people • No rules • Blurring of boundaries between work and personal • No absolute answers © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 5. Use of Social Media Should be: • Lawful • Aware of other risks • Responsible • Sensible © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 6. Lawful Most important legislation to bear in mind: • Copyright • Privacy and Data Protection • Defamation and Libel • Court decisions • Other laws © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 7. Copyright • Pictures and Photos • Pasting/ Reposting/Retweeting from copyright sources • Streaming • Use of illegal material you own the copyright to © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 8. Privacy and Data Protection • Information provided by living people • DPA is a very big act • Fair • Purpose • Transparency © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 9. Defamation and Libel Very concerning in terms of Social Media use: • Stating untrue “facts” • Use of opinion to make allegations • Action against individual/organisation © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 10. Court decisions In terms of injunctions for example • Identifying people who have injunctions preventing their identificiation • Applies to doing it yourself, retweeting, or just linking to it © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 11. Other laws Computer misuse • Changing someone else’s records • False tagging of people in photos Disorder and terrorism • Inciting riots • Encouraging terrorism © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 12. Aware of other risks • Reputational – University • Reputational – Personal • Commercial • Academic © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 13. Reputational – University • “Please do not contact the Department of X which is closed due to vandalism” • “Here’s proof that Professor X was having an affair with his secretary” • “Alreet the lads, here’s pics from our Rugby Trip to the Toon” • “Here are those notes from last weeks lecture” © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 14. Reputational - Personal • “Had a great night at the ‘Blue Oyster’ last night” • “Nobody is in the office so I am going home early” • Pictures on Facebook etc. • Links on Facebook/Blogs • Love Bunny S&M site? • Salford Mental Health Forum? © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 15. Commercial • “Looking for another job – looks like the School is closing down” • “For a sneak preview into our Annual Accounts, click here” • “Just invented cold fusion, all I did was …” • “Student numbers are lower this year” • “Heavens above, £400,000 for the Vice Chancellor’s new desk?!” © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 16. Academic • Going against the traditional academic model of publication and peer review • Posting work on Blogs • Tweeting • Needs a considered approach • One person against the world will not work • Nor will one corporate policy © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 17. Responsible • Grey areas require users to act in a responsible manner • Students and Staff alike • University or Personal channels alike • Need balance between work/non-work © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 18. Grey Area • Social media blurs the boundaries of what is professional and personal • It’s the personal stuff on professional sites and vice versa which can be the most interesting and insightful. • While you need rules they must be flexible or varied © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 19. Staff and Students • All should be covered by rules relating to use of social media as with anything • Staff employment contracts • Student code of conduct • Disciplinary policies should make clear what is expected whether on University property or elsewhere • Social Media Policy © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 20. University and personal channels • Pasting inappropriate material on University channels is straight forward • On non-university channels, may seem counter intuitive but all are required not to bring University into disrepute • Love bunny S&M site • Matt Stephenson’s personal blog • Matt Stephenson’s professional blog • University of Salford’s Information Governance Blog © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 21. Work and non-work balance • Can I post pictures of my kittens on work blog? • Can I talk about work on my personal blog? • Need to identify and specify a balance • 80% v 20%? • ⅔ v ⅓? • 100% v nothing? © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 22. Sensible • By institutions • By individuals © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 23. Sensible institutions • Need rules • Need different rules for different circumstances • Different channels • Different levels in institution • Corporate v departmental v student organised • Staff v Student © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 24. Rules • For each channel • For each level • For staff/students • Disclaimers • Which rules apply • Impact on other communication channels © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 25. Sensible people • Keep home life mainly at home • Keep work life mainly at work • Abide by the rules • Law • Employer/University • Website AUPs etc. • Remember that nothing on the internet is private © University of Salford, April 2012
  • 26. In Summary • There are laws you must abide by • More importantly, your reputation may be damaged by use of social media • Institutions and Individuals alike must act responsibly and sensibly • There is no magic bullet • Rules, flexibility, responsibility and sensibility are key! © University of Salford, April 2012