Social media law resources for professional communicators


Colleague Susan Grantham and I have written a new book – Social Media Risk and the Law: A Guide for Global Communicators – now in production for publication by Routledge later this year.

We offer professional communicators strategies for taking advantage 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.

We take a global approach to risk and social media law, drawing on case studies from key international jurisdictions to explain and illustrate the basic principles.

Of course, an international approach means we need to direct readers to more detailed information about social media laws in their own jurisdictions. We encountered many resources for this purpose along the way, and offer this compilation as a starting point for social media managers wanting to learn more …

Social media law resources for professional communicators – a starting point

Here are some starting points for further information about the main social media law topics covered in our book – Grantham, S. and Pearson, M. (2021, forthcoming). Social Media Risk and the Law: A Guide for Global Communicators. Routledge: Oxon and NY. Topics covered include general information, news, human rights and free expression, cases, business and corporate laws, crime and justice, defamation, intellectual property and privacy/confidentiality. [Thanks to for some useful suggestions. Many more media law blogs and UK resources are listed there.]


General, miscellaneous and news

Guardian media law blog –

International Forum for Responsible Media blog –

Shear on Social Media Law –

Human rights and free expression

Universal Declaration of Human Rights –

Article 19 –

Reporters Without Borders –

IFEX – International Free Expression –

Index on Censorship –

Transparency International –

Media Defence –

Cases and news

World Legal Information Institute –

Business laws and regulators

International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN)

Consumers International –

International consumer protection agencies –

List of securities regulators internationally –

Crime and justice

UN Global Programme on Cybercrime –


International Press Institute – International Standards on Criminal and Civil Defamation Laws –

Intellectual property

World Intellectual Property Organisation –

Directory of intellectual property offices –

 Privacy and confidentiality

Global Privacy Enforcement Network –

International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) –


General and miscellaneous

Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) –

Human rights and free expression

African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) –

African Union – Democracy, Law and Human Rights –

Freedom of Expression Institute –,com_frontpage/Itemid,36/

Case law databases

African case law databases –

African Legal Information Institute –

Veritas Zimbabwe –

Business laws and regulators

National Consumer Commission (South Africa) –

Financial Sector Conduct Authority –

Crime and justice

Institute for Security Studies –

International Justice Resource Centre – Africa –


INFORRM – South Africa –

Intellectual property

Department of Deeds Companies and Intellectual Property (Zimbabwe) –

Privacy and confidentiality

Data Protection Africa –


General and miscellaneous

Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) –

Pacific Media Watch –

Asian Law Network Blog –

Law and Other Things blog (India) –

Human rights and free expression

Free Speech in China –

Case law databases

Asian case law (WorldLII) –

Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute –

Business laws and regulators

The ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP) –

Singapore Competition and Consumer Commission –

Asia Law Network Blog – Consumer Law –

Crime and justice

International Justice Resource Centre – Asia –

Asia Law Network Blog – Criminal and Litigation – –


Asia Law Network Blog – Defamation –

Slater and Gordon – Destination Defamation, South-East Asia –

Intellectual property

Intellectual Property Office of Singapore –

Privacy and confidentiality

Asia Pacific Data Protection and Cyber Security Guide 2020 –


General and miscellaneous

Communications and Media Law Association –

Gazette of Law and Journalism –

Professor Mark Pearson’s blog –

Human rights and free expression

Australian Human Rights Commission – Social Media –

MEAA media freedom reports –

Case law databases

Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) –

Federal Register of Legislation –

Business laws and regulators

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission – Social Media –

Australian Communications and Media Authority –

Australian Securities and Investments Commission –

Law Society of NSW – Guidelines on Social Media Policies –

Fair Work Commission –

 Crime and justice

High Court of Australia –

Australian Attorney-General’s Department – Courts –

The Australian Constitution –


Defamation Watch (Justin Castelan) –

Intellectual property

Copyright Office –

Copyright Agency –

Australian Copyright Council –

IP Australia –

Privacy and confidentiality

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner – Social Media Privacy –

Australian Privacy Foundation –


General and miscellaneous

Department of Justice – Canada’s System of Justice –

Canadian Bar Association –

Legal Line Canada –

Human rights and free expression

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms –

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression –

Case law databases

Canadian case law (WorldLII) –

Supreme Court of Canada –

Canadian Media Lawyers Association –

Business laws and regulators

Canadian Advertising and Marketing Law –

Office of Consumer Affairs –

Canadian Bar Association – Social Media Policies in the Workplace –

Canadian Securities Administrators –

Crime and justice

Supreme Court of Canada –

Media Smarts – Online Hate and Canadian Law –

The – blog on Canadian Supreme Court –


Mondaq Canada – A Primer on Defamation –

Intellectual property

Canadian Intellectual Property Office –

Privacy and confidentiality

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada –

Privacy Canada –

David T.S. Fraser’s Privacy Law Resources –

Europe (see below for UK)

General and miscellaneous

Droit de technologies (France) –

Human rights and free expression

ECHR blog –

The Irish for Rights –

Case law databases

Eastern Europe case law (WorldLII) –

Western Europe case law (WorldLII) –

Business laws and regulators

European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net) –

Citizens Advice –

Crime and justice

European Justice – Courts –

Court of Justice of the European Union –


Council of Europe – Defamation –

Czech Defamation Law –

Intellectual property

European Commission – Intellectual Property Rights –

Manual on European Defamation Law – Media Defence –

Privacy and confidentiality

General Data Protection Regulation – EU –

Europe Data Protection Digest –

New Zealand

General and miscellaneous

Ministry of Justice – Harmful digital communications –

NZ Law Society – Social media’s legal criteria –

Human rights and free expression

NZ Government – Human rights in NZ –

Human Rights Commission –

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 –

Case law databases

New Zealand Legislation –

New Zealand Legal Information Institute Databases –

Courts of NZ Judgments –

Business laws and regulators

Commerce Commission –

Consumer Protection – Online safety laws and rules –

Crime and justice

Ministry of Justice – Courts –

Courts of NZ –


Defamation Update NZ –

Intellectual property

NZ Intellectual Property Office –

Privacy and confidentiality

Office of the Privacy Commissioner –

Ministry of Justice – Key Initiatives – Privacy –

Privacy Foundation NZ –

South America

General and miscellaneous

Marco Civil Law of the Internet in Brazil –

Human rights and free expression

American Convention on Human Rights – Article 13 –

Article 19 – Brazil and South America regional office –

Case law databases

Legal Information Institute – World legal materials from South America –

Business laws and regulators

OECD – Corporate Governance in Latin America –

Crime and justice

Legal Information Institute – World legal materials from South America –

Wilson Center – The Brazilian Judicial System –


Committee to Protect Journalists – Criminal Defamation Laws in South America –

Intellectual property

BizLatin Hub – Overview – Intellectual Property Regulations in Latin America –

Intellectual Property Magazine – South America –

Privacy and confidentiality

Bloomberg BNA – Privacy Law in Latin America and the Caribbean (Cynthia Rich) –

United Kingdom

General and miscellaneous

International Forum for Responsible Media blog –

Brett Wilson Media Law blog –

Information Law and Policy Centre –

Human rights and free expression

Transparency Project –

Case law databases

British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) –

Business laws and regulators

Competition and Markets Authority –

ACAS – Unfair Dismissal –

Financial Conduct Authority –

Crime and justice

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary – Structure of the courts and tribunal system –

The Supreme Court –


BBC News – Defamation cases –

Scandalous blog –

Carruthers Law – Defamation definitions –

Intellectual property

UK Intellectual Property Office –

UK Copyright Service –

Privacy and confidentiality

Gov.UK – Data Protection –

Information Commissioner’s Office –

United States

General and miscellaneous

Social Media Law Bulletin – Law and Social Media –

Technology and Marketing Law Blog – Eric Goldman –

Human rights and free expression

Center for Internet and Society (Stanford University) –

Committee to Protect Journalists –

US Courts – What does free speech mean? –

Freedom Forum Institute, First Amendment Center –

Case law databases

US case law (WorldLII) –

Justia US law –

Legal Information Institute – Cornell University –

Internet cases – Evan Law blog –

Business laws and regulators

Federal Trade Commission –

US Department of Health and Human Services – Social media policies –

US State Consumer Protection Offices –

Crime and justice

Supreme Court of the United States –

United States Courts –

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency –

Homeland Security – Cybersecurity –


Legal Information Institute – Defamation –

Freedom Forum Institute – Quick guide to libel law –

Intellectual property

US Copyright Office –

US Patent and Trademark Office –

Privacy and confidentiality

Data protection law – –

US Department of State – Privacy Office –

If you are a communication professional wanting to study in this area, please consider enrolling in our online courses Social Media Law and Risk Management (postgraduate) or Media Law (undergraduate).

Disclaimer: While I write about media law and ethics, nothing here should be construed as legal advice. I am an academic, not a lawyer. My only advice is that you consult a lawyer before taking any legal risks.

© Mark Pearson and Susan Grantham 2021 – the moral right of the author has been asserted.

Leave a comment

Filed under censorship, communication, defamation, First Amendment, free expression, intellectual property, Internet, journalism, journalism education, libel, media ethics, Media freedom, media law, media literacy, Media regulation, national security, open justice, Press freedom, Privacy, public relations, reflective practice, risk, risk management, social media, sub judice, suppression

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s