Concerns raised about social media litigation

PushON | February 13th 2013

Research undertaken by Immediate Future, a social media consultancy, has revealed that social media litigation is growing and suggests businesses should plan to avoid legal battles and to protect their brand names.

The company’s research of UK businesses has shown that over half of companies are yet to take the threat of social media litigation seriously. However, 75% do have concerns about the potential legal entanglements from inappropriate sharing of confidential information throughout social media. Additionally, there are concerns about copyrighting laws and the issue of ownership of intellectual property when it comes to profiles used in social media.

The study has also brought to the forefront a gulf in understanding of what laws and regulatory guidelines should be applied to social media. More than two thirds of those surveyed claimed to have, at best, only scant knowledge of the legal issues surrounding social media.

The CEO of Immediate Future, Katy Howell, said:

“Social media is a serious business. Companies are increasingly connecting and interacting with customers, exposing the business to increasing legal ramifications. There is a need for more information, education and greater investment of time to get up to speed with the legal aspects of social media.”

More than 90% of the respondents claim to be involved professionally in social media. Regardless of this, more than 60% are unfamiliar with the ‘Terms of Use’ for the social media channel they are using.

More than of half of those asked were involved in running competitions and promotions within social media platforms and more than 95% of these apply terms and conditions to protect the company.