There is another development in the injunction- social media – soccer player – model story that I wrote about in my injunction post.
It seems that a British Town Council has now got in on the act and successfully obtained a court order in California that has forced twitter to hand over details of a British tweeter.
This case has nothing to do with soccer players or models or even speculation of did they or didn’t they.
It does have a lot to do with bloggers and tweeters, in fact any users of virtually any social media.
The fact is that a British complainant, has successfully used an American court to order an American business to hand over details of a British user of that company’s services.
This means that geography is no protection from legal action against slandering someone in social media.
On the one hand I believe that there should be some redress for any one wrongly accused in social media as there is for any other medium. But it would be a disaster if any one feeling the slightest bit insulted, by something tweeted about them for instance, could turn social media into a circus of un restrained litigation.
It does however mean that we should all perhaps think carefully before criticising public figures or institutions on twitter, facebook or in our blogs until we are absolutely sure of our facts.
Back to the new case concerning the South Tyneside Council. The anonymous tweeter made certain, as yet unspecified, allegations about three councillors and an official. It may or may not have involved money.
It certainly does involve money now, it seems the legal costs of the court order against twitter are 70 000 pounds and have been paid by the council using taxpayers funds. That should tweet up a storm when it becomes widely known.
Here is a link to an article with more information in The Independent.
So it just shows we need to be a little careful and think before we tweet, the consequences of getting it wrong could be expensive!
Wishing you success in all your endeavours.