Supporting the value of information in your enterprise

FreePint BlogDo you have a social media risk strategy?

Wednesday, 7th March 2012 Please login top-right to be able to star items

By Martin Belam


A recent study has suggested that many UK companies have a "chaotic" social media policy. Where can you find resources to help mitigate social media risk to your organisation?


A recent study by information management firm Iron Mountain has suggested that UK companies are not prepared for the legal risks they may face when participating in social media. Their survey showed that, amongst UK firms, only half of them realised that the company carried legal liability for social media content. The survey also showed that around three-quarters of companies taking part still completely banned social media in the workplace, with a third describing their social media management as “chaotic”.

Christian Toon from Iron Mountain made an excellent point about the uncertainty around the legal position of social media:

Social media are technology-enabled communications media; and where technology is involved, the law invariably lags behind practice. Theoretically, every tweet or post or blog constitutes an official “record” that needs to be retained and for which a business is liable. In reality, the law in this area is still evolving and its application is often unclear and inconsistent.

It seems a day doesn't go by without someone trying a new angle to apply law to social media, or issuing new legal guidelines. In January the National Labor Relations Board Acting General Counsel issued a social media report suggesting that the restrictions placed on employees might be too broad. Noah Kravitz and former employer PhoneDog are in dispute over who owns the Twitter followers he amassed whilst working for the company. And others have suggested that Twitter itself is at risk of becoming legally liable for illegal tweeting.

What does this all mean for us?

Stuart Bruce spoke at the Future Digital Strategies Summit back in November 2011 about how to get senior management buy in for social media. His presentation had 10 tips, the last of which was the most pertinent: "If you only do one thing, introduce social media governance".

If you haven't got one, here are a few resources that could help you get started:


About this item:

Item Topic Category:

View all Topic Categories »

Martin Belam is Information Architect for Before joining The Guardian, he worked as an Internet Consultant with organisations like the BBC, Sony, Vodafone and the Science Museum.

Martin also blogs about information architecture and the media at and can be found on Twitter as @currybet.

Martin can be reached at

More articles by Martin Belam »

« See all FreePint Blog items

FreePint Topics
Sources: Staying informed and aware
Technology: Improving information work with technology
Value: Maximising value for information work and investment
FreePint Newsletter

Keep up-to-date with the latest FreePint articles and tips by email twice a month.

Email address:

Newsletter 397
24th April 2014

FreePint NewsletterWe highlight details of our latest product reviews, webinars & consulting projects. Get involved with our Communities of Practice or consulting projects.

Register free »
Newsletter archive »

Have a FreePint Subscription?

"Yes, we subscribe"

Login to MyFreePint to access purchased content, be able to 'star' items, and to share items with your colleagues.

"No, not yet"

Find out more about the benefits of accessing all our premium articles, reports, webinars, communities of practice and consulting, through a FreePint Subscription

Keep up-to-date by signing up for the FreePint Newsletter.

"Don't know"

Contact us and we'll check if someone in your organisation has already purchased a subscription.

FreePint Subscription

A FreePint Subscription gives access to all FreePint content (articles, reports and webinars), Communities of Practice and consulting. Find out more.