You might be of the opinion that the social media universe is largely unregulated.

We have all witnessed or experienced how nasty this digital landscape can get. So, I wanted to ask the question: “Has the law caught up with social media evolution?”  In today’s show I’m going to explore the very many answers to that question.  

In today’s episode: 

  • > Social media can be a lawless wild west 
  • > How the social networks are trying to combat the malicious use of their platforms  
  • > What to look out for as a public sector marketing pro 
  • > I interview Sarah Kieran, Managing Partner of and we discuss all of the current legislation to protect organisations and users online 


The reality is that social media is moving faster than we can spell legislation.| #PublicSectorMarketingShow #socialmedialaw #socialmediaClick To Tweet

Joanne’s Column: Social Media Can Be A Lawless Wild West

Stalking, trolling, cat fishing, cancel culture, misinformation, harassment, abuse and the list goes on. Social media can be a daunting, depressing and in some cases a very dangerous place to navigate. So, who is doing what to protect users and whose responsibility is it?

  • > Is it the singular responsibility of the social networks?
  • > Is it the role of law enforcement agencies?
  • > Is it legislators place to regulate?
  • > Is it personal responsibility by users?

I believe it is all of them and all of us. When I wrote the eLearning course Young Minds Online with my daughter Sophie seven years ago, it was aimed at teaching digital citizenship, the safe savvy and ethical use of the Internet to teens and tweens. 

But now I find myself creating courses and strategies to protect public sector professionals who often find themselves the target of abuse by virtue of their job. 

The reality is that social media is moving faster than we can spell legislation. It is also the case that, unfortunately, legislators, policy makers and even our law enforcement agencies are not completely up to date with how the social networks operate, function and can be used in ways to manipulate, expose, extort, or indeed exert pressure. 

Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of Facebook and his Meta companies of them being a place where you connect and share with the people in your life, has a bit of a distaste in your mouth as you see the other priorities that users have.

The reality is that we all have to take responsibility and that means not being a by-stander if we see someone else being abused. 

Social media and moderating its use is one of the biggest challenges of our time.

Consulting: How to Protect Yourself Online as a Public Sector Pro

So what do you do if you are facing abuse or your staff are on social media? Here are 6 steps you can take to protect yourself. 

#1 Have a social media abuse policy in place

#2 Train staff in the safe and savvy use of social media 

#3 Collate the data and screenshot the evidence for the social networks 

#4 Understand the difference between trolling and abuse and unhappy public service users / citizens

#5 Review your approach bi-annually

#6 Improve online communications to fill any gaps 

Reviewing your internal processes is important, you can’t protect your staff if you don’t have clear and understood rules of social media engagement. 


In this episode we hear from Sarah Kieran, Managing Partner with

Sarah is a specialist in media law with extensive experience in commercial, public service broadcasting and online publishing. She also specialises in content, social media, litigation, IP, contract and regulatory matters and is the perfect guest for today’s show. 

Her insights on what laws exist that extend to social media are fascinating. 
Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn.



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Thank You for Listening!

Thank you for tuning into episode #35 to find out the number one digital strategy for the next 10 years. If you are a regular listener, please rate and review our show.

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