Social media and the law (and a bit of Leveson, well, needs must …)

I was at Social Media and the Law 2012 today, which was a really great event.

First of all big thank you to Luisa Edwards from Google for managing the day so well – always nicer when a conference chair makes it fun instead of a relentless clock watch!  Also some really great comments about Google’s view of it all.

So, top snippets of the day:

– Madeline Moncrieff of The Guardian told us about Three Little Pigs and the line between editorial and everthing else, with a little bit of astro-turfing and sock-puppeting

– Max Sorensen of Lego told us about use (and abuse!) of Lego figures in social media and how they use trade marks to seek to protect themselves there

– Luc Delaney from Facebook showed us that actually really properly accurate data is a virtous thing – we need not be afraid (I wasn’t but you know, some people are!)

– We had a spirited discussion about the issues present in the current drafting of the Defamation Bill (and many thanks Emma Jelley from Google for putting a real world spin onto this from an intermediary perspective)

– Mark Bearfoot from Coca Cola showed us what a brand can really achieve when it fully embraces social media, including bringing the fans who kick great stuff off in house

– David Evans from the ICO got to rant about cookies for a bit but actually speak about wider issues for a change (much to Dave’s relief, I suspect!)

Given that it’s also L Day, Prof Ian Walden did a really great summary of Leveson’s report/press conference:

– self regulation > policed by Ofcom > with a sharper damages regime > but an uptick for good behaviour

Who needs 2000 pages? 

What’s my take on the day?  I think that we’re really starting to see the benefits of the business of social media, and that’s a good thing.  What we need to be careful of now is that it’s not over regulated and that our creativity isn’t chilled.  Some concerns around Leveson’s exemplary damages suggestion and if they’d play out differently for a blogger than for a journo, but we’ll see.  Genuinely feel like Leveson danced around the Internet.  Shame because I think it’s here to stay.

 

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