Emma Sadleir

Your organisation needs to be well-versed in the constantly changing laws and the very real risks and pitfalls inherent in the irresponsible use and abuse of social media
platforms – not only while at work, but also in the private lives of your team – at ALL levels.

Virtual interaction is our only reality as the planet’s entire workforce has had to shift to a digital reality in order to conduct business.

Your staff are online all the time:

  • Zoom bombing
  • WhatsApp groups
  • fake news
  • criminal offences (knowingly or unknowingly)
  • contact tracing using cell phone data
  • naming and shaming

Staying on top of the rip tide of new developments but luckily, we’re here to decode it all for you.
The most menacing threat posed to every company by social media is the potential reputational risk
posed by every one of your employees. It’s not just what they put on social media that can have
catastrophic consequences for your organisation, but also what they do in the real world which is
documented and published on social media. Social media has afforded everyone with a digital device
instant access to an international, public and permanent platform. Simply put, every employee who
owns a digital device represents a potential risk-factor to the company. The most effective way to
mitigate against these risks is by raising awareness, educating and changing the behaviour of its work
force – be it at executive, operational, professional or non-professional level. One of our mantras at
the Digital Law Company, and one which is uber pertinent in these times of COVID-19, is that
prevention is better than cure.
We have hastily been improving our online offerings and we are now delighted to offer you the
following options for your consideration. We believe these products are the best solution to negotiate
the inherently dangerous terrain created by the aggressive evolution of social media.
OPTION 1: Live or pre-recorded webinars tailor-made specifically for your organisation
We have already had great success in rolling these out for corporate clients using Zoom, Teams and
Hangouts. The webinar is typically 75-90 minutes long, including time for questions, but we are also
able to customise this product to suit your specific time requirements. The ‘live’ option allows for a
comprehensive and interactive experience including a thorough Q and A with Emma.
Employee presentations and in-house training
The focus of this presentation can be adapted to focus on your organisation’s individual needs, your
social media policy and any relevant professional/ethical obligations.
We encourage you to guide us as to your content needs, but we propose that the presentation cover a
selection of the following topical issues:
• The social media landscape in South Africa during Covid-19 – Zoom-bombing, phishing, fake
news, location-tracking, naming and shaming, snitching, liability of WhatsApp admins,
sextortion, doxing and addiction – what a time to have to live our lives online!
• The legal considerations of using social media, including defamation, privacy, hate speech,
crimen injuria, image-based violence, revenge pornography, confidentiality, insider trading
and intellectual property
• Employment law issues
• Business confidentiality in a world of over-sharing
• Managing brand reputation on social media – when to respond to disgruntled customers, how
to respond, when to take legal steps, considering the Streisand Effect and David and Goliath
• Straddling the personal / professional divide on social media
• Personal reputation management on social media
• Social media disclaimers (“retweets are not endorsements”, “I tweet in my personal capacity”
• Liability for retweets, likes, tags and WhatsApp groups
• Data Protection – GDPR and POPI
• Understanding POPI and how it affects your business
We can also assist with ensuring that relevant CPD points are procured for these webinars.
Client events, virtual conferences, Youth Day celebrations, Women’s Day events… You name it, we
can (almost certainly) do it!
Emma is able to talk about *just about* anything to do with social media and many corporate clients
are hosting client events or general interest sessions that employees, their families and their clients
can dial into.
One of the most popular of these is Emma’s customised presentation to parents, children and teenagers
around some of the following topics:
• Practical tips for managing children and devices
• Online safety and practising good digital citizenship
• Privacy in the digital age
• Age of capacity – when can children be arrested or sued for misuse of social media
• Age restrictions and concerns about popular apps – TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Fortnite,
Minecraft and Houseparty
• Sharenting – posting pics of your children – what should you be thinking about?
• Surviving parent WhatsApp groups
• Cyberbullying, self-harm and suicide
• Sexting and Pornography
• Catfishing and online predators
• Addiction
• Gaming
• Your online CV
• Screen-time and its effect on the developing brain
• Can parents be held responsible for what their children do online?
The available options serve as a guideline of the most relevant and current international social media
issues, but we are open to including topics which you identify to tailor the best-fit solution for your
Cost for tailor-made presentations and training: Emma’s standard corporate rate is R37,500 plus VAT
per presentation, but we know times are tough so let us know what you require, and we’ll make the
best plan we can!
Option 2: Pre-recorded training
This alternative is a comprehensive, pre-recorded and professionally edited tutorial style video of
Emma presenting the legal, reputational and disciplinary consequences of social media. The video can
be watched by employees in one hour-long session or in ten short modules. We are also able to provide
an online course to your employees which includes a competency assessment at the end of each
chapter. A certificate will be made available to keep on each employee’s HR file once the course has
been completed.
This video is aimed at all corporate employees and covers:
• The legal considerations of using social media, including defamation, privacy, hate speech,
crimen iniuria, fake news, sextortion, revenge porn, harassment and intellectual property
• Personal reputation management
• The Billboard test
• The inherent danger of digital content – screenshots, forwarding, theft and hacking
• The chain of publication and when you can be liable for other people’s content
• Work WhatsApp groups
• Employment law – when can you be fired for social media
• Business confidentiality in a world of over-sharing
• Managing brand reputation on social media
• Straddling the personal/professional divide on social media
• How to protect yourself from image-based violence and identity theft
This video should be watched by every single one of your employees as part of onboarding and
ongoing training.
Watch a sample of the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1bFUTVf-Uk
The pre-recorded training video can be purchased by the company in three ways, namely it buys:
1. the recording to be housed on its own platform for unlimited use within the organisation for a
limited time period;
2. a specific number of views to watch the latest training video on our platform, The Digital Law
Academy; or
3. a specific number of licenses for an online course. After each chapter the employee must
complete a short competency test to reinforce key learnings and, if successful, obtains a
certificate on completion of the course which is filed on the employee’s HR record
In order to quote you on this training, we will need to know which option you would prefer and how
many employees will participate in the training.
Social Media Policies and WhatsApp Group Guidelines
With an increasing number of prominent South African companies landing in (or perhaps more
accurately being thrown into) hot water because of the social media posts of employees, we believe
that every company needs a social media policy. A comprehensive social media policy helps clearly
to articulate the types of content which employees should and shouldn’t post. If you do not have a
social media policy in place, we have the following options available:
• an ‘Off-the-shelf’ style policy with guidelines in plain, accessible language for all employees,
as well as for those responsible for managing social media in an official capacity = R10,000
plus VAT; alternatively
• we can draft a policy custom-tailored to your organisation’s specific needs = R2,500 per hour.
Emma Sadleir CV
Emma Sadleir is South Africa’s leading expert on
social media law. The company she founded in 2014,
the Digital Law Company, specialises in educating
and advising corporates, employees, schools,
parents, teachers, and universities on the legal,
disciplinary and reputational risks of social media.
Emma’s areas of expertise include managing the
legal consequences of using social media including
defamation, privacy, hate speech and intellectual
property; cyberbullying and
harassment; sexting and pornography offences; the
disciplinary consequences of using social media;
personal and brand
reputation management on social media;
health and social media and online safety.
Much of Emma’s work involves creating social media strategies and policies for corporates and
schools, drafting social media agency agreements and providing training and workshops on social
media law.
Emma and her team have collectively addressed hundreds of blue-chip corporate clients and over
200,000 learners across Africa and the United Kingdom through educational talks and presentations.
She also teaches media law to journalists and lawyers and lectures personal reputation management
on various MBA programmes.
Emma is the co-author of two bestselling books – “Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex… And Other
Legal Advice For The Age of Social Media” and “Selfies, Sexts and Smartphones: A Teenager’s
Online Survival Guide”. Emma is also the co-author of the social media section of the legal textbook,
“Communications Law”.