Emma Sadleir


Emma Sadleir is South Africa’s leading expert on social media law and an award winning speaker. 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, professional organisations, conferences and over 800,000 learners around the world – through educational talks and presentations. She also teaches media law to journalists and lawyers and lectures personal reputation management on various MBA programmes.

We can also assist with ensuring that relevant CPD points are procured for these presentations and webinars. 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 – Discord, TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Fortnite, Minecraft and Roblox
• 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
• Online CV management
• 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 event.


Now more than ever is the time to ensure that your staff are 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. In these unique times, where virtual interaction is often our reality, we have developed
an innovative set of products which we believe should be a fundamental part of every company’s onboarding, corporate governance and responsibility.

The planet’s entire workforce has had to shift to a digital reality in order to conduct business. This means that your staff are online all the time! Cancel culture, work WhatsApp groups, naming and shaming, reputation management. It’s a full-time job staying on top of the riptide 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 for organisations 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 is that prevention is better than cure.

We are 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.

The presentation or 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. We love the interaction of in-person presentations but if you prefer online webinars – we can use whatever platform your company uses – Zoom, Teams, Hangouts etc. The ‘live’ webinar option allows for a comprehensive and interactive experience including a thorough Q and A with Emma.

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
• The legal considerations of using social media, including defamation, privacy, hate speech, crimen injuria, image-based violence, revenge pornography, threats, harassment, incitement, confidentiality, insider trading, intellectual property, naming and shaming, doxing, fraud, forgery, extortion, sextortion, social media as evidence, hacking, surreptitious recording etc
• Employment law issues – hiring, firing, when Big Brother can read your private communications, work WhatsApp groups, LinkedIn etc
• Two brand spanking new laws! The Cybercrimes Act and the Films and Publications Amendment Act
• Case law on disciplinary action taken emanating from social media
• Employee privacy and social media – when Big Brother can read your private communications etc
• The issues with work WhatsApp groups
• The ‘social media audit’ phase of recruitment and guarding against discrimination
• WhatsApp as a tool to communicate with clients – what are the risks?
• The law around recording conversations in the workplace – RICA v POPI
• The importance of a social media policy and what should be included
• Business confidentiality in a world of over-sharing
• Straddling the personal / professional divide on social media – particularly the intersection of freedom of expression and protecting business interests
• Personal and brand reputation management on social media – particularly when it comes to employees’ political views
• Social media disclaimers (“retweets are not endorsements”, “I tweet in my personal capacity” etc)
• Liability for retweets, likes, tags and WhatsApp groups
• Recent defamation and privacy law cases
• Online social activism, naming and shaming, cancel culture and doxxing – #AmINext, #MeToo, #BLM – what does the law say?
• Who should be allowed to speak on behalf of a company
• How to manage employees who are responsible for social media channels
• Influencer law
• How to handle employees who have social media side hustles
• ChatGPT, AI, deep fakes and a post truth world
• Emoji law – yes, one emoji can a contract make!

Any variation of the above content, tailor-made for your organisation and recorded for repeat use and induction of new employees. The cost of recorded content will depend on your organisation’s needs.

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 a 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.

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. 

Book Now

Contact us below to book this Motivator

    August is Women’s Month! Here are some great speaker options