Tweet Elite raise £30,000 for Norwood at YN Lawyers debate

21 June 2012

Over 170 young professionals attended the seventh annual YN Lawyers event last night at the London Film Museum. The event, entitled ‘The Law v Social Media’, raised an incredible £30,000 for Norwood’s vital services supporting adults with learning disabilities and children and families in need.

The highlight of the evening was a thought provoking panel discussion featuring high profile guests from the media, legal and entertainment industries. Moderated by Legal Commentator Joshua Rozenberg, the panel focused on the wide ranging implications of social media and considered the introduction of more effective legislation. The first motion, ‘One Tweet too far?’, debated the need for greater regulation and statutory control of social media. Issues raised included breach of privacy, protection of anonymity, the implications of ‘freedom of speech’ and the democratisation of the media and the web in real time.

On whether individuals should have the right to express themselves over social media forums without restriction, David Sherborne, Media & Entertainment Barrister, opined cautiously:

"Freedom comes with responsibility and has to be balanced against other rights." He added, "I do not believe we should have unlimited freedom of speech. I’m not in favour of more laws, just doing what we need to, to enforce them properly."

Renowned British Actor and TV Presenter Larry Lamb, who has 100,000 followers on Twitter added: "When it first started, Twitter was an extraordinary communication tool for society. It certainly enables, as we saw in the Arab Spring last year, but I feel strongly that it does need some form of regulation."

A second motion, ‘OMG TMI LOL ;-)’, discussed the consequences of information sharing on the web, and the ‘culture of vanity’ amongst the younger generation.

Charlotte Harris, Media Law Specialist and Partner at Mishcon de Reya stated: "I’m uncomfortable about State control, but I am also uncomfortable about the amount of personal information available. I want the right to remain private and be forgotten e.g. delete social media content after six years."

The panel also discussed the topical issue of self-regulation amongst the press, referring to the Leveson enquiry and its effect on the gradual demise of print media.

Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor of The Daily Telegraph, suggested that in the future, younger people will obtain news online. However, she believes that the press will survive as it is always better to read in-depth analysis in print.

Danielle Ben Zion, YN Fundraiser, said: "The evening was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by all. I would like to thank our special guests and moderator for providing such an entertaining discussion, and the YN Lawyers Committee for their on-going commitment to the event. I would also like to thank our sponsors First Advantage Litigation Consulting and Withers LLP, and all our guests for their generous support."

Read a blog about the event by our event sponsors Withers>>