TUESDAY 6 MAR 2012 4:07 PM


Social media is proving a strain for a large number of UK businesses.

Research published by information management firm, Iron Mountain, reveals while three quarters of UK respondents regarded social media communications as formal business records, only 54% were aware they carry legal liability for the content.

“Chaotic” and “unmanaged” were words used to describe the approach of 34% of professionals in their social media organisation practices.

Blog pages have attracted a lot of attention recently, with Google escaping a charge by a former Conservative local council candidate, Payam Tamiz, who claimed defamatory comments were posted about him on the London Muslim group of Blogger.com.

High Court judge, Mr Justice Eady, says Google should not be regarded as a publisher of the offending remarks but a “neutral service provider,” and as a result was exempt from the libel charge.

However, Google was advised to immediately take action to erase negative messages, and was criticised for its delay in contacting a previous blogger and removing their offensive messages.

Christian Toon, head of information security at Iron Mountain Europe says: “Social media is troubling organisations much as email did a decade or so ago. It’s new, it generates huge volumes of unstructured data, and that makes it hard to control. The immediacy and informality of social media increase the potential risks of data breaches and information exposure, so it is not surprising that many companies feel threatened.”