Lessons In Social Media

Interesting watching events unfold today around the Guardian gag-order case. Here’s the background: Late last night The Guardian reported that it had been served an injunction stopping it reporting on events in parliament around a specific question that an MP was planning to ask. It was banned from reporting the name of the MP, the question, the topic of the question, or anything else apart from the name of the law firm (Carter-Ruck) serving the injunction.

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Skip forward 12 hours and a full-blown TwitterStorm is in flow with 4 of 10 trending topics relating to the case and speculation about what the parliamentary question is about.

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The lessons from this:

  • Law firms need to understand the power of social media to be able to advise clients on risks of taking legal action.  They also need to consider how their own reputation could be damaged by taking on cases that are perceived by the general populous to be unethical or immoral.
  • Big corporations need to weigh-up whether taking legal action will draw more (negative) attention to their case than would otherwise have happened if they had just kept quiet and let traditional media report unrestricted.

Chalk one up for democracy and the little guy.

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