The recent Jack Monroe v Katie Hopkins libel action highlighted once again the legal minefield surrounding the use of social media..
The English courts awarded food blogger Jack Monroe £24,000 damages, plus legal costs, after controversial columnist Katie Hopkins fired off two tweets suggesting Ms Monroe approved of defacing a war memorial.
Although the law is different in Scotland, there are important lessons to be learned for businesses north of the border.
Alan Matthew, partner at Tayside-based solicitors Miller Hendry, said: “Correctly used, social media can bring enormous business benefits – enhancing your brand, boosting your profile and even winning new customers. But irresponsible use can have far-reaching consequences, ruining careers and even lives.
“Controlling social media content is a huge issue for business. It’s a fast-moving arena and often posts, tweets, retweets and comments are the subject of instant decision-making. When careful reflection isn’t part of the equation, it’s not surprising that it can lead to problems. It is important that social media policies are kept under constant review and that everyone understands the boundaries they are operating within, through both the company’s marketing strategy and their terms of employment.