Twitter found itself under scrutiny following a super-injunction surge. Recently, an anonymous Twitter user is being sued over breaking a super-injunction issued by a high court judge. Nobody knows for what cause he was sued since it is a super-injunction and the subject cannot be disclosed.
Super-injunctions prohibit anyone from even mentioning any element of the story. For example, if any celebrity gets an injunction about their previous relationship, each detail about it will get censored.
It is a court order issued to protect the identity of the people involved. Even the mainstream media is refrained from writing or mentioning the injunction. Anyone found guilty of leaking any detail is prosecuted accordingly.
Twitter And The Court
The cracks between the court and Twitter began when the latter attempted to protect the identity of a mentally unstable woman. The order emphasized that her name stays off Facebook and Twitter. Both companies are USA-based, and the content published is user-generated.
The court case surrounding the anonymous Twitter user that published reports is heading nowhere. While the filer was confident about the culprit serving jail, the reality seems far from that. There are no Twitter offices inside the UK and no one to send to courts.
Moreover, the user will also be hard to track since Twitter provides anonymity to its users. Even if an email address gets traced, there will be no information about their whereabouts, name, and other details.
The Need For A New Legislation
In 1998, the British court passed an act which in correspondence to privacy said, “Everyone has the right to respect for his private life, his home, and his correspondence.” The law has, since then, barred news publications to print hundreds of news stories. So far, the injunctions have succeeded in hiding the identities of children and prone adults.
The recent cases of 28 high-profile celebrities that have used injunctions to hide their extra-marital affairs have enraged the mainstream media. Moreover, the reports have also revealed that the high court has issued at least 30 super-injunctions to rich and famous people.
This tension between privacy rights and freedom of speech has opened demands for new legislation.
Twitter And The British Mainstream Media
With the emergence of social media channels like Twitter, it is easy for users to breach privacy under the cloak of anonymity. An anonymous Twitter account recently revealed the names of people that took injunctions. And since then, the site has received a significant boost in visitors and users. It has caused frustration among media, parliament, and courts within the UK.
Twitter is reaching more people by persuading people away from the mainstream media. Social media applications can share information not seen in the mainstream media. The recent events and the laws around injunctions have provided a significant audience to the site. But it has angered the National news, banned from covering such topics.
The dilemma between free speech and the battle for privacy has never been this serious before.