The number of legal cases involving social media is increasing, but new research suggests that whilst most companies are aware of the risks, very few have a good understanding of social media law.
The research was conducted by Immediate Future and looked at 183 businesses in the UK, over half of which have a revenue over £50m. When asked what they considered to be the biggest risks in social media, the most common answers were the protection confidential information (76%), copyright infringements (65%), using data gathered from social networks (57%) and ownership of social media profiles (53%).
Despite identifying it as the number 1 risk, 61% of respondents said they are not confident that sensitive or confidential information is protected on social media platforms. When looking more broadly at social media law, only a quarter of respondents said they have an intermediate knowledge and only 5% have an advanced knowledge.
Given the apparent knowledge gap, I would have imagined that this would be a fairly high priority for companies, but only 26% of respondents said that social media law was a priority for their company. Perhaps this is because senior management are not as aware of the risks as those actively involved in the execution of the social media strategy. Either way, companies need to revisit and tighten their policies and ensure that social media users across the business are educated in potential legal ramifications.
One topic we have previously focused on is Facebook competition rules. All too often big brands openly run competitions on their Timeline, encouraging users to ‘like and share’ posts to enter. With so many companies unaware of even Facebook’s terms and conditions, it was no surprise (although disappointing) to see that only 26% of respondents understood laws around competitions and only 6% were aware of the Cap Code (Committee of Advertising Practices).
So how does your knowledge stack up? You can access the full report here.