Social media is once again dominating the headlines this week as a key tv presenter shared his views on government through tweeting to his millions of followers, reputedly in conflict with his obligations to his employer, the BBC. 

Regardless of what Gary Lineker said, and whether or not he should be exhibiting BBC impartiality, it seems we are all, whether individuals, businesses or corporations, still trying to get to grips with the reach and role of social media in our lives.

I was interested, then, to learn this week that publishers are looking at how they protect and prepare writers of memoirs in the light of the ruthlessness of social media commentators.

Any writer can expect criticism when their book is released. We often hear how they feel exposed and vulnerable, desperate for favourable reviews. And probably having worked on a novel or biography for years, you can understand their anxiety.

For memoir writers, though, it is not a question of artistic critique but personal evaluation, not how they've written the book but why they have behaved in the ways they've described. We've seen it to the extreme in the response to Harry's 'Spare'.

An article in the Guardian, a column in the trade journal the Bookseller and an item on Radio Four's Front Row have investigated the subject.

Of course one answer to this argument is not to put yourself 'out there'. Surely if you are putting your life story into the public sphere, you are expecting it to be debated and dissected but if our world is such an angry, self-righteous and argumentative sphere that we can't respond to people's stories with respect, interest and tolerance, we may soon only see extreme views and characters presented. Let's hope that won't be the case. 

Thank you for reading.