Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter have revolutionised who, how and the speed at which people can communicate, as well as the permanence of that communication.

They are fantastic tools for the Twenty First Century but one significant downside of them is that they usually require the disclosure of private information/personal data and the relinquishing of control of it to the websites.  Potential consequences of which can lead to breaches of Privacy, Confidence, Online Harassment, Data Protection, Defamation, Malicious Falsehood, Copyright, and Human Rights Law.

Exposing your Personal Information to Strangers

Ryan Dunleavy
Ryan Dunleavy
Partner & Head of Media Law Reputation Management

To set up social media identities people almost always need to provide some information from their private lives and some of their personal data. Many people also choose to go one step further and release and therefore lose control over (to an extent) extra private information that can be accessed by anyone, including people they do not know.

This allows third parties to use the individual’s information as a reference tool and can lead to the harvesting and further dissemination of their data, photographs, etc without their consent.

People join social media websites to communicate and share with others, but by doing so they can also find themselves targeted by trolls, stalkers, and the unscrupulous.

Such a situation can cause damage to ones reputation, lead to further infringements of privacy, harassment, distress, and a general feeling of loss of control.  There is a fine line between wilful disclosure and psychological exposure.

Removal of Information

Social media sites often refuse to remove distressing posts when requested to do so, as we have seen in multiple cases such as when the now imprisoned hate preacher Anjem Choudary posted items on Twitter and YouTube, and the case of the 14 year old suing facebook for not removing pictures of her.

When matters such as the above have been pushed too far, sometimes the only thing that will put a stop to the situation is an injunction from the court.  This can be on numerous grounds such as; privacy, or breach of confidence, or harassment, or data protection, or defamation, or malicious falsehood, or copyright, or under human rights legislation.

We Can Help

At MW our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone" including those who have been victims of social media legal infringements.  We represent everyone, not just celebrities and the rich and we offer conditional fee agreements (no win, no fee funding) for these types of cases, where appropriate.

If you feel that you have been subjected to social media legal infringements or wish to talk to one of our specialist social media lawyers, call 0203 551 8500 or email us at

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