Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook seem to be in the news all the time at the moment, from Facebook’s involvement in the Cambridge Analytica saga to Mark Zuckerberg’s failure to appear before the “international grand committee of elected officials” in the Houses of Parliament in late November last year.

The issues that Facebook face seem, on the face of it, to be very varied and different. Fake news. Extremist speech. Political advertising. A failure to deal with trolls. Invasions of privacy. Use of big data. Empire building through the acquisition of the likes of Instagram and WhatsApp and the potential for monopolistic practices that come from this. Despite appearances, however, these things are all very closely connected – and understanding that connection could be the key to finding some solutions, or at least ameliorating some of the problems. That connection is privacy.

Twitter is the social media platform of choice for journalists, free speech campaigners, Russian trolls and American presidents. On the social media spectrum of formality, it sits somewhere in between professional networking colossus LinkedIn and lolcat empire Facebook.

Twitter is essentially a “social” messaging service which enables you to maintain a minimalist profile, broadcast short “tweets” to your followers and view and respond to tweets of those you choose to follow, which are displayed in your “timeline”. It’s deceptively simple but at the same time somewhat of an enigma.

There are important differences that distinguish Twitter from Facebook and LinkedIn and give it its distinctive “personality”.

Here are 10 quick checks you can undertake on aspects of your website that may be affecting your website’s presence in search engine results. All the tools that I suggest in this guide are free, easy to use, easy to understand and, most importantly, actionable.

The areas this SEO health check covers and the tools I recommend you use are:

In May 2018, the Government announced revised laws on drone regulation. This was met with concern by many who said it didn’t go far enough. The British Airline Pilots’ Association felt it wouldn’t make drone use near airports safe, giving the example that the new law provided drones could be flown up to 400 ft within 1 km of an airport boundary – highly dangerous when an aircraft would already be lower than 1 km from the ground at this point on approach to an airport.

What seemed like a fairly basic lack of consultation and drafting was highlighted only 6 months later when, in the week before Christmas, Gatwick airport was shut first for 36 hours and then again for half a day only two days later after reports of drones being sighted near the airport.

The inventor of the web, Tim Berners-Lee, and others advocated that the underlying code for the web should be made open – publicly available on a royalty-free basis, forever. His employer, CERN, concurred and announced this in April 1993, thus sparking a global wave of creativity, collaboration and innovation on a scale not seen before.

Delia Venables’ long-standing and, many would say, iconic Legal Resources website has been relaunched at www.venables.co.uk. First published in 1995 when the legal web was in its infancy, it has grown continually in scope and size and now contains several hundred pages of listings, describing tens of thousands of websites. It remains one of the most useful legal portal sites on the web for the UK and maintains very high authority and trust rankings.

This new incarnation of Venables Legal Resources is published and managed by infolaw, with me at the helm. As long-time publishing partners, Delia and I have collaborated on our respective websites since 1995 and jointly edited the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers and the Internet for Lawyers CPD service for barristers and solicitors for over 13 years.

I have lived with the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers for 20 years. I started it as an adjunct to the Venables website www.venables.co.uk but it soon developed a life of its own. It was of course only provided in printed form originally. I remember how it had to be written, printed, collated, packed up and addressed on my kitchen table, stamps stuck on and taken down to the post office in big bundles, together with associated admin relating to managing the subscriptions. It was very “physical” work but a great deal of fun and I felt very advanced.

A snapshot of the type of content provided by the Newsletter in its early days is reproduced below from an old page on Delia’s site, retrieved courtesy of the Internet Archive’s WayBack Machine. It is notable that the range of topics covered is similar to today’s mix. The main difference is that the internet was all very new back then and there was more of a focus on new sites. Delia’s Newsletter served as an essential guide to the emerging wonders of the (legal) web.

The panic has receded. The frantic drafting has slowed down. The GDPR – widely regarded as the most ambitious data protection legal framework ever created – is in place and life goes on. As the dust left by the dramatic coming into effect of the GDPR settles, we are beginning to see what the GDPR means in practical terms. Many questions remain unanswered and many aspects of the law will take years – if not decades – to be fully interpreted and understood. However, among the numerous issues covered by the GDPR, some areas are emerging as the key strategic questions to address and becoming the focus of attention at an operational level.

Open access to case law in England and Wales is in a very poor state of health, both in terms of the amount of case law that is freely accessible to the public and in terms of the sustainability and development of the open case law apparatus in this jurisdiction.

It is true that the launch of BAILII in the early 2000s radically improved the public’s ability to access judgments and continues to provide a service of immense value. However, the simple fact is that nowhere near enough judgments from England and Wales’ superior courts are available on BAILII.

Efforts to increase public access to the decisions of judgments in this jurisdiction are being hampered by a range of systemic obstacles, including a general lack of awareness among judges, government, practitioners and commentators that a problem even exists, and a lack of understanding of how the judgment supply-chain in England and Wales works and why it is defective.

LinkedIn, acquired by Microsoft in 2016, has over 250 million active monthly users and, according to research from Attorney at Work, it is the most popular social media channel in the US legal sector, used by over 90 per cent of lawyers and forming part of the overall marketing strategy in around 70 per cent of firms. It is likely that these statistics broadly translate to the UK. LinkedIn’s popularity has increased within legal circles over recent years, with Brian Inkster, founder of Inksters citing its better rates of engagement: “I used to think LinkedIn was deadly boring compared to Twitter (which was my social media channel of choice). However, over the past year or two my views have changed. If I post a similar item on LinkedIn and Twitter it invariably gets more interaction and usually much more detailed comments on LinkedIn than on Twitter.”

The principal types of online law sources in the Republic of Ireland are as follows:

  • legislative material published by the State;
  • legal publishers’ materials pitched at the legal professions, subject to subscription;
  • general citizens’ rights and business information;
  • information and guides published by various statutory bodies on their activities;
  • a number of legal blogs on particular topics; and
  • articles on legal practitioners’ websites.