Social Media

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Social Media

Social and digital media has revolutionised the way we communicate, work and socialise. It pervades every area of our lives and is seemingly unavoidable.

Instant and impulsive but public, permanent and potentially harmful, social media messaging and posting can make or break a business, a relationship or a reputation. Our digital and online profile and legacy can frequently be one of our most valuable assets in life (and death), but if misused or mismanaged can cause irreparable damage.

Across every department, BDB has specialists to advise individuals and organisations in this fast developing sector. Whether you are new to social media, developing the next big thing or seeking ways to engage a wider audience, our specialist team can navigate you through the regulatory, ethical and legal landscape.

We can help you 
recognise and release the full potential of social media, protect you from the risks and provide you with practical and cost effective solutions.


How can we help

Apps and social gaming

The popularity of mobile devices has seen a surge in the development of apps and games. Whether you are a user or developer you should be aware of the wide ranging regulations affecting this growing sector.

  • What are you obligations under the Sales of Goods Act?
  • How will the proposed Consumer Rights Act going to affect your business?
  • Do you have the appropriate licences to sell your app?
  • What are the terms of use and privacy for your app/game?

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Bring your own device (BYOD)

With so many products on the market and different user experiences and preferences, it is not unusual for employees to want to use their own technology both in and out of the workplace.  It is essential that policies are put in place to protect your organisation.

  • How do you ensure the data is being stored securely?
  • What level of control do you have – e.g. what happens to the device when an employee leaves the company? what if the device is lost/stolen? how do you ensure the data is not mixed up with the users own material?

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Charity fundraising (including donation based crowdfunding)

There are several types of crowdfunding and fundraising options available to commercial enterprises, charities and entrepreneurs. Recognising what is right for what you need can be a challenge in itself and there are a number of factors you should consider.

  • Is online fundraising subject to specific regulation?
  • What is equity, debt and reward-based crowdfunding?
  • What is a ‘solicitation statement’ and do you need to include one in your online funding materials?

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Data protection

Breaches of data protection legislation can carry considerable financial and criminal consequences. Potential liability extends to mishandling data on social media and it is essential to comply with key principles.

  • What is an organisations’ responsibility for their employees’ use of social media?
  • What are the data protection issues arising from BYOD?
  • Does remote-working present any specific data protection issues?

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A reputation can take years to build but can be lost in moments by the publication or broadcast of a defamatory allegation. In the age of instant access news, the internet and social media platforms allowing stories to spread like wildfire, prompt action needs to be taken.

  • What do you do if false material has been published, either in print or online, about you or your company?
  • Do you need pre and post publication advice on press articles?
  • Has someone accused you of defamation?

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Digital assets and legacy

Social media and the increasing variety and value of digital assets means that it is essential to work out what should happen to your digital and online assets in the event of your death. Without forward planning, some valuable digital assets may be very difficult or even impossible for your heirs to locate. There may also be other assets which you might assume your heirs are entitled to simply by knowing your password but some such assets are not legally transferable on death. This affects how you should store some digital items in your lifetime.

  • Do any of your online assets have financial or sentimental value?
  • How would your heirs or executors find out about and access those assets in the event of your death?
  • Whether stored at home or in the cloud, what digital media do you own, and would your intended heirs in fact be entitled to inherit in the event of your death?
  • Can I control what happens to my social media account when I am gone?

Digital Legacy: will anyone inherit it? >


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Improved mobile communications and the popularity of social media has revolutionised the media and retail sectors.  Selling online and through social media channels is accessible and simple, but presents its own risks and challenges.

  • Do you have an effective cookies policy?
  • What are you website terms and conditions?
  • Do you know what your obligations are under the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000?
  • Have you displayed trusted third-party logo, certification and affiliations (as appropriate)?

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Employment policies and practice

The use of social media by employees can pose a number of risks, including cyber-bullying, reputational damage and reduced productivity. A sensible policy and reasonable approach to social media use can ensure that it is used positively and action can be taken where necessary.

  • What can you do if an employee is making inappropriate use of social media?
  • How can I prevent time being wasted by employees using social media at work?
  • Can I be liable for an employee using social media to bully another employee outside of work?

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Online behaviour

How people act online and how they represent themselves can have an impact on any organisation or individuals they are affiliated to or associated with.

  • Does an employer have a duty of care towards an employee who is being harassed by a colleague via social media?
  • To what extent can an employer monitor online behaviour outside work?
  • Could too much monitoring provide bad press?

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Reputation and brand management

Protecting the reputation of your organisation brings benefits and prevents damage. This means taking pre-emptive steps and being ready for action if a crisis hits.

  • What measures are in place to maintain that reputation?
  • What measures have been thought about if something goes wrong?

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Responsibility and liability

Third party and user generated content can be a risk for organisations, service providers and anyone with an online presence. The extent to which liability transfers or is shared will be a key concern to many.

  • Who is responsible for comments, posts and opinions posted online?
  • Am I responsible for my employees’ online conduct or transgressions?

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Cloud computing is used by many businesses and it is favoured by start-ups and SMEs due to its cost efficiencies. With issues such as Heartbleed however, businesses must be aware of cyber crime and have sufficient business continuity plans if things go wrong or if a cloud provider becomes insolvent.

  • What measures are in place to prevent hacks?
  • Is the business regulated by an independent body? (e.g. FCA) and if so, are there further security/compliance issues? (e.g. MiFid)

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