Social Media and Online Content Friend and Foe

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Social Media and Online Content
Friend and Foe
Thomas Eggar LLP
Sports Group
Introduction
What is Social Media
Social Media Law?
Social Media in the Sports Sector
Managing the risks (sporting integrity; athlete management;
child protection)
Compliant Websites
Questions
Defining Social Media
4 broad categories
1. Blogging and Networking via users own website;
1. Networking sites – Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter;
1. Sharing sites – YouTube; Flickr;
1. Review sites, third party blogs and the wikis – Wikipedia;
Blogspot; WordPress; Industry Forums
Defining Social Media
“Social media is the use of based and mobile technologies to
create highly interactive platforms via which individuals and
communities share, create, discuss and modify user generated
content.”
Some Stats…
Over 1 billion tweets are sent per week
Facebook is the third largest ‘country’ in the world
The average facebook session lasts 37 minutes (twitter, 23
minutes
24 hours of content uploaded onto YouTube every minute
7 billion people on the plant
2 million internet users
more than 1 billion social media users
Social Media Law?
-
-
No ‘Social Media Law’
Malicious Communications Act 1988/Communications Act
2003
Protection from Harassment Act 1997
Contempt of Court Act 1981
Defamation Act 1996
The Fraud Act 2006
Data Protection Act 1998
Advertising Standards Authority/ CAP Code
Don’t forget….
Intellectual Property issues
Where is the law going?
Understanding that social media pose different issues
Interim Guidelines on Prosecuting Cases involving
Communications sent via Social Media (under consultation
until March)
More latitude to offensive and satirical comment
Prosecutions only for communications that are more than
offensive, shocking, satirical or the expression of unpopular
or unfashionable opinion, even if distasteful to some
Free speech (Article 10 of the European Convention on
Human Rights) and practicality key factors
Opportunity
Exposure for governing bodies (London 2012 was the first
‘twitter’ Games’)
Interaction with fans – online communities
Medium for supply of information – facts, fixtures
Sporting rule changes?
International Rugby Board
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NGBs on Twitter
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NGBs on Facebook
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The Risks
When [social media is] done poorly it is a complete and utter
nightmare for those of us trying to manage and lead teams. It is
like giving a machine gun to a monkey.
Hugh Morris, Managing Director of the England and Wales Cricket
Board
The Risks
Unfortunate tweets can affect personal and NGB sponsorship
deals
Stephanie Rice
“suck on that, fa**ots!”
Steve Nash
Wow! @usairways with the worst customer service”
The Risks
Sporting Sanctions and Disciplinary Action
–Kevin Pieterson
“man of the world cup dropped from the T20 side. It’s a f**k up”
“can somebody tell me how Nick Knight has worked his way into the
commentary box.
–Azeem Rafiq
“a useless wa*ker”
– Ryan Babel
–Breach of FA Rule E3 (1)
The Risks
Rio Ferdinand
'I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic hahahahahaha!!'
Ashley Cole
“[The FA is] a bunch of tw**s”
Managing the Risks
Athlete safety
Young athletes often away from home for long periods;
Tweets can give too much away – location etc
Serena Williams
Inside information and corruption
Ekaterina Bychkova
Inside Information:
– Inside information refers to information about the likely participation
or likely performance of a player in an event, or concerning the
weather, court conditions, status, outcome or any other aspect of an
event which is known by an athlete and is not in the public domain
Managing the Risks
Solid Guidance and Polices in place
Do not need to be long or complicated – clarity is key
Link to disciplinary rules and disrepute clauses
Reflect the rights of free speech
specific policies for athletes, employees, members, coaches,
protection, parents (parent from hell syndrome)
Be aware what is being posted in the sport’s name
Ensure trademarks/usernames registered
Negative comments policy – PR v Legal
child
Managing the Risks
One of your member athletes makes the following comment:
Fuming. He cheated, and I am not convinced he is a clean
athlete. And the umpire?! What was that about!? Was he on the
taking bribes or something?!!
What do you do?
Some thoughts on policy content…
Define social media and provide examples
Explain that the policy and guidance note is linked to the disciplinary rules
Do’s
Encourage the use of social media and encourage athletes to show personality
Everyone can see you (PAUSE AND THINK)
Be responsible
Be honest, accurate, professional and polite
Share sporting achievements
Engage with fans
promote the sport
Report other posts that cause concern
Understand privacy settings (Kevin Pietersen)
Respect copyright and fair use
Remember postings are permanent (Chris Cairns)
Report (but do not respond) to abusers (Tom Daley)
Remember your rivals may be reading
Avoid inflammatory topics (religion/politics)
Make it clear the account represents OWN view
Some thoughts on policy content…
Don’ts
talk negatively about competitors, other NGBs, other organisations
comment on athlete injuries, team tactics, any information confidential to
the sport/team
post during competition time
Post when you are emotional or angry
give away personal info/locations (Serena Williams)
provide inside information (Tennis Integrity Unit/Ekateria Bychkova
Post or use the sport’s logo without consent
Post spam
Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults
Child Protection in Sport Unit Briefing on Social
Media
The Safer Children in the Digital World report by Dr
Tanya Bryon (the Byron Review) identifies some of
the issues:
– cyber bullying
– grooming
– abuse by online predators
– exposure to inappropriate content
Websites and online content - The Law
Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive)
Regulations 2003 as amended 2011 (“E-Commerce
Regulations”)
Voluntary marketing industry codes
Data Protection Act 1998
Intellectual Property Issues
Consumer Protection
e privacy regulations
Marketing and Opt-in consent
The British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct
Marketing (CAP code), produced by the UK’s Committee of
Advertising Practice reflects the provisions of the E-Commerce
Regulations and requires ‘active’ consent in respect to
marketing by SMS, MMS and email.
Terms of use and privacy policies
Selling merchandise – other considerations
Use of cookies
Post 26th May 2012 – website notice
Cookie audit
Websites - other considerations
Blogs/online chat rooms:
Liability for comments
Should have content standard
Ability to remove offensive or potentially defamatory material
Copyright/Trademarks/Keywords
Data Protection
Defined terms
Data controller
Data processor
Data subject
ICO: Information Commissioner’s Office
Personal data
Processing
Sensitive personal data
Principles
1st principle
Personal Data must be processed fairly and lawfully
2nd principle
Personal Data must only be processed for limited purposes and
in an appropriate way
3rd principle
Personal Data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in
relation to the purpose or purposes for which it is processed
4th principle
Personal Data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up
to date
Principles: continued
5th principle
Personal Data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for
longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes
6th principle
Personal Data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of the data
subject under the Act
7th principle
Appropriate technical and organisation measures shall be taken against
unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accident
or loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data
8th principle
Personal Data can only be transferred to countries which have suitable
data control
Conclusions and Questions
Maximise the opportunities afforded by social media and websites
by reference to common sense, the law and defined policies
If in doubt, ask
Questions
Hannah Clipston
Partner
Tel: +44 (0)23 8083 1233
Email: [email protected]
Andrew Nixon
Senior Associate, Sports Group
Tel: +44 (0)207 842 3871
Email: [email protected]
Thomas Barnard
Solicitor, Sports Group
Tel: +44 (0)1293 742777
Email: [email protected]
@TheSportLawyer
www.thomaseggar.com/legal-services/business/sectors/sport-andleisure
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