Last week I had the pleasure of sitting on a panel at an event hosted by Cancer Research UK, discussing Social Media & The Law.
The panel included myself, Matthew Eltringham the Assistant Editor, Interactive Social Media & Development at the BBC, Robert Blamires an Associate Solicitor at Field Fisher Waterhouse and Yvette Deerness, the host of the event, and Senior Legal Advisor at Cancer Research UK. The event was attended by the Cancer Research staff who man the front line of the charity's social media work.
This charity takes social media seriously! Just take a look at some of the ways you can follow Cancer Research through social media. Key goals are to promote campaigns, support fundraising activity and to provide support to those suffering from cancer. I've said before that the most important aspect of social media is the community which it can create, and so it was no surprise that managing, moderating and supporting that community without falling foul of the law was top of the agenda at the event.
A healthy debate ensued covering social media activity on own sites and third party sites, how to strike the right balance between the benefits and insight which user generated content can offer against managing the risk of liability for defamation or infringement of intellectual property rights, the practicalities of using content obtained through the creative commons system, enforcing acceptable use policies in a fair and consistent manner, managing complaints, and the range of legal issues affecting promotion mechanics.
A fantastic charity with fantastic people behind it who really have their finger on the pulse of social media. If you'd like to donate to the charity or find our more about the wonderful work which Cancer Research carries out, please visit Cancer Research UK.