considering the opportunities which monitoring of people’s views on hospital services, as posted on social media sites, offers as a means of obtaining early intelligence on potential areas of concern. Technologies which assist in automating monitoring and analysis of large volumes of this type of data offer regulators a relatively cost effective oversight approach. As the regulator develops its knowledge of how to utilise this approach, it is easy to see that it could be extended to general monitoring of primary dental care services and to assist in focused investigations requiring the sifting of large amounts of data. In an effort to gain some insight into the use of social media by the profession and the level of concern which it currently has about using it, a poll was conducted on a dental discussion group (gdpuk.com). The poll was limited to questions about the use of the largest service, Facebook.com (Fb) and focused on quantifying usage and the areas of greatest potential risk. • The poll found that 72% (n = 29) of those who voted have a Fb account • Of those who have a Fb account, only 37% (n = 19) regularly post on Fb • Of those who have received friend requests from patients only 31% (n = 13) have accepted one or more such requests • 47% (n = 15) reported that their accounts were either public or partially private while 53% operated their accounts on a fully private basis • The poll also asked if members would be concerned about the possibility of regulatory monitoring and analysis of their Fb posts: 57% (n = 23) indicated that they would be concerned while 43% indicated that they would not be.