Online issues

‘When I took office, only high energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the Worldwide Web… Now even my cat has its own page.’

Bill Clinton, 10 February 1996

The explosion of the web presents unique legal and practical challenges in protecting privacy and defending reputations. Modern media and communication tools can inflict immediate and lasting damage on a global scale, to a personal reputation, private life or professional brand. Allegations can be spread to millions in seconds; libels are made under the cloak of anonymity; web giants such as Google, Twitter and Facebook have become first-line adjudicators on the merits of a complaint. Our team has extensive experience of dealing with the problems presented by those abused online, using both legal remedies and substantial practical experience to achieve meaningful results, and in advising would-be publishers how to avoid the legal pot holes.

How we can help

We will:

  • audit private and defamatory information published online and advise on legal remedies where appropriate;
  • act swiftly to remove false, defamatory, private or abusive material from the internet;
  • advise on the possibility of identifying online anonymous publishers, whether through Norwich Pharmacal applications to court or under the procedures set out in the Defamation Act 2013;
  • work closely with our Intellectual Property team to use tools including copyright law and data protection legislation to prevent the publication of identifying material such as photographs and address details, particularly with regard to privacy.
  • assist in making complaints to the relevant regulatory authorities and/or the police in the most serious cases of online abuse.

View our video on how to protect yourself online

View our video on how to use social media safely

If you have any reputational or privacy concerns, please contact the Media & Reputation team.

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