Social Media Law

With thanks for contributions from Leanne O’Donnell (@mslods /,  Virginia Leighton-Jackson and Griffith University media freedom interns

Recent cases

Fairfax media misidentification

  • Fairfax Media, including The Age, misidentified a young man who was shot dead by police, allegedly after stabbing two officers, by using a photo found on Facebook, in 2014.
    • Raises concerns about defamation and invasion of privacy.
    • The person whose photo was used spoke to ABC’s Media Watch, saying that he did not post the image used, rather it was from the profile of a friend of the deceased, where it is alleged that the journalist was trawling though the profile to find a photo that “matched” other photos of the deceased, ending in a mistaken identity.

– Virginia Leighton-Jackson

Phair, N. 30.09.2014, “Fairfax case shows dangers of facebook journalism”, The Conversation, 17.02.2015, <>

And Fairfax’s apology –

Recent news

Online Dispute Resolution in the UK

  • A report by the Online Dispute Resolution Advisory Group has produced plans to broaden access to justice by moving low value civil claims to an online court, saying that it would enable small disputes to be resolved easily, quickly, and cheaply. Also offers an analysis of current overseas models.
  • The UK has been shifting many services to online, and offering increased accessibility to court documents and resources.

– Virginia Leighton-Jackson

Civil Justice Council. 2015, “Online Dispute Resolution for low value civil claims”, Report by the Online Dispute Resolution Advisory Group, 17.02.2015, <>

Facebook faces fight in Europe over new privacy  policy. | Gigaom |

Twitter reaches deal to show tweets in Google search results. | Bloomberg |

What happened when I confronted my cruellest troll. | The Guardian |

Stupid tricks with promoted tweets. | Medium |

Twitter CEO admits cyber bullying poses threat to revenue growth”. |  ABC – The World Today | 


Extra resources for social media law

Social Media Law Bulletin, Norton Rose Fullbright (USA and international content),

Law Institute of Victoria, Social Media and the Law

2 responses to “Social Media Law

  1. Sophie

    Hi – really enjoying your blog. Just FYI this link appears to be broken (goes to a spammy looking page) What happened when I confronted my cruellest troll. | The Guardian |

  2. Pingback: Journlaw running updates to The Journalist’s Guide to Media Law | journlaw

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