1st Edition

Social Media Risk and the Law A Guide for Global Communicators

By Susan Grantham, Mark Pearson Copyright 2022
    194 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    194 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Social media has many advantages for professional communication – but it also carries considerable risks, including legal pitfalls. This book equips students and communication professionals with the knowledge and skills to help minimise the risks that can arise when they post or host on social media.

    It offers them strategies for taking advantage of the opportunities of social media while also navigating the ethical, legal, and organisational risks that can lead to audience outrage, brand damage, expensive litigation and communication crises. The book uses stakeholder theory and risk analysis tools to anticipate, identify, address and balance these opportunities and risks. It takes a global approach to risk and social media law, drawing on fascinating case studies from key international jurisdictions to explain and illustrate the basic principles.

    Whether you are a corporate communicator, social media manager, journalist, marketer, blogger or student you will find this book an essential addition to your professional library as the first reference point when social media and legal risks arise.

    Part 1 – Social media law and risk management: introduction and context

    Chapter 1 – Introduction – defining the boundaries of the theory and practice of social media risk

    Chapter 2 – Theory into practice: why is stakeholder theory important?

    Chapter 3 – Risk management theories and practice in social media

    Part 2 – Social media attributes contributing to opportunity and risk

    Chapter 4 – The role of the audience: embracing the opportunities that social media presents

    Chapter 5 – Managing legal risk in a wired world: general and specific approaches to
    minimising damage for stakeholders 

    Part 3 – Brand and reputational opportunity and risk

    Chapter 6 – Brand, reputational management and defamation on social media 

    Chapter 7 – Crisis communication and reporting

    Part 4 – Risks at the intersection of human rights, law and ethics

    Chapter 8 – Privacy in social media

    Chapter 9 – See you in court: fair coverage versus a fair trial

    Part 5 – Legal risks of social media in business

    Chapter 10 – Employment law – private versus professional social media risk

    Chapter 11 – Consumer and corporate law and social media 

    Chapter 12 – Intellectual property law and plagiarism 


    Susan Grantham is an Adjunct Fellow with the Centre for Social and Cultural Research at Griffith University. Her research focuses on the use of social media in public relations, investigating reputation management, crisis communication, and legal and ethical consequences with a focus on these evolving professions within government and pseudo government environments. She has more than 15 years’ professional experience working for and with government in strategic communications, crisis management and social media engagement.

    Mark Pearson is Professor of Journalism and Social Media at Griffith University and is a journalism and media law educator, blogger and author. He has written or edited eleven books, including six editions of Australia’s leading journalism law text The Journalist's Guide to Media Law (with Mark Polden, 2019), Blogging and Tweeting Without Getting Sued (2012), and Mindful Journalism and News Ethics in the Digital Era (with Shelton A. Gunaratne and Sugath Senarath, 2015).  

    ‘This is a highly practical, well-written book with up-to-date law and case studies that I will recommend that my Social Media and the Law students read.’

    Dr Marilyn Bromberg, Director Higher Degrees (Coursework) The University of Western Australia Law School