As we reported yesterday, an anonymous account on Twitter that leaked details of a number of court-ordered super-injunctions involving high-profile celebrities has received enormous attention from the mainstream media.
The unknown user, who publically shared information on the gagging orders over six tweets fired out in quick succession Sunday afternoon in the UK, has not tweeted since.
So, here’s the big question: has the account been silenced? And if so, by whom?
Certainly, it can’t have been Twitter, at least not according to statements they made about the matter yesterday via their official @twitterglobalpr account:
It’s a bit wishy-washy, but the bottom line is: Twitter is not in the business of deleting tweets, at least not those that aren’t spam, or contain malware or other malicious links, or are the work of imposters.
But still, no new updates. The newspapers have got themselves into a frenzy trying to work out who is beyond the Twitter account, which goes by the name ‘Billy Jones’, but I’m not sure that’s much of a clue.
Many of the names “outed” had been revealed months and some years ago.
As long as there are super injunctions there will be this silly cat and mouse game.
Max Clifford thinks super injunctions are wrong. So does the Daily Mail who attack the BBC for getting that scoop interview. The Guardian which prides itself on its investigative journalism despises them vehemently. Murdoch hates them and so does the Telegraph and Independent.
However the EU does like them and is looking to strengthen them even further and if innocent people are dragged into the debate then it is a small price to pay for Freedom of Speech.
Could this blogger be the person behind the tweets? Perhaps. Or maybe it’s somebody working for one of the major newspapers, or a disgruntled member of the legal system.
Whoever they are, they needn’t worry. And nor, it seems, should anybody else. The Daily Telegraph reports that “lawyers representing two of the celebrities said they did not intend to try to sue the anonymous Twitter user who broke the terms of the orders, admitting that the individual would be difficult to trace,” and that while “ordinary Twitter users could technically be in breach of the super-injunctions by linking to their account to the offending blogger, the fact that so may had last night meant it was unlikely any of them would realistically be pursued by the courts.”
After all, even Twitter themselves linked to the account. I think it’s safe to say that it’s all very much in the public domain.
Lord Falconer, the former Lord Chancellor, has said that the mass-defiance of these super-injunctions on Twitter could effectively render them meaningless going forward.
“If a point is reached as a matter of evidence when everyone knows who the injunctions are about then they become pretty pointless,” he told the Telegraph. “It is concerning that people can do this and break the law. It sounds like it’s very difficult to make sure that injunctions like this are complied with.”
In retrospect, this would seem to be a good thing.