All a twitter over #superinjunction tweets. Advice to celebs “STFU”

May 21, 2011

So, the gloss is wearing off social media; the excitement is waning and the holy-roller experts are starting to sound like hollowed-out snakeoil sellers after a beating in the Dry Gulch town square.

We have been taken for a ride once too often. The world of celebrity tweets as a viral marketing tool may (hopefully) be over now that the super injunction scandal is hitting harder at so many British Nobs and Toffs.

But this stupid, Luddite old judge in the UK has got his judicial robes in a twist over the very obvious techno-legal time gap that has the Twitterverse all a-gush over trying to guess who’s got a super injunction in place preventing publication of details about their personal lives.

Attempts to identify a famous footballer hiding behind a privacy injunction have spiralled into an online battle over freedom of speech, as internet users responded to high court action by repeatedly naming him on Twitter.

The high court granted a search order against the US-based microblogging site on Friday as the lord chief justice, Lord Judge, warned that “modern technology was totally out of control” and called for those who “peddle lies” on the internet to be fined. (Guardian.co.uk)

It highlights once again the ever-widening void between rich and poor that super injunctions (whose very presence was itself suppressed until a few weeks ago) are available to those who can pay a high-priced whore-of-QC to front the Lords of the Court behind closed doors and tightly-drawn velvet curtains and get unsavoury details and incidents suppressed.

BTW: the footballer is apparently Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs, but that’s just a rumour I picked up on Twitter. I’m willing to repeat it because I don’t really care. I think Ryan Giggs is a great player, but the whole idea of banning coverage in the media via an all-inclusive and secret gagging order is disgusting. On balance, naming the celebrities and public figures caught up in this is the least of sins.

Giggs apparently spent 50,000 pounds on the injunction reportedly to keep his name out of a sex scandal involving a woman called Imogen Thomas who seems to be famous for taking her clothes off in lad mags like Zoo and Loaded.

Ms Thomas working hard for the money

Giggs probably didn’t want his family to know about his affair with her.

Now Giggs has outed himself by suing Twitter, Ms Thomas and several Twitter users who named him in tweets. According to the Guardian, it is possible a tabloid news organisation first leaked his link with Thomas and the superinjunctions.

A PREMIERSHIP footballer is suing Twitter and several of its users after information that was supposed to be covered by a super-injunction was published on the micro-blogging site. (The Scotsman)

Giggs was named by Spanish media ahead of the Man U v Barca UEFA Champions’ League final next weekend. Perhaps a little pride and niggle in that?

All I can say to that is “Idiot”. Did Giggs really think that suing Twitter was going to shut this matter down.

It seems that Ms Thomas was a former Big Brother contestant and she is upset that Giggs was able to keep his name out of the papers while she is the centre of allegations she tried to blackmail the Premier League player.

‘Yet again my name and my reputation are being trashed while the man I had a relationship with is able to hide.

‘What’s more, I can’t even defend myself because I have been gagged. Where’s the fairness in that? What about my reputation?

‘If this is the way privacy injunctions are supposed to work then there’s something seriously wrong with the law.’ (Daily Mail)

But, wait it gets worse. Now grubby politicians are getting into the act of breaking suppression orders and super injunctions. A Liberal Democrat in the UK has used parliamentary privilege to attack a merchant bwanker for an alleged sexual dalliance.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge criticised MPs and peers for “flouting a court order just because they disagree with a court order or for that matter because they disagree with the law of privacy which Parliament has created”.

Yesterday Lib Dem peer Lord Stoneham used the protection of parliamentary privilege to reveal allegations that former RBS boss Sir Fred Goodwin had taken out a super injunction to conceal an affair with a colleague at the bank. (epolitix)

Why are these people so ashamed of what they’re doing? The fuckers (and they are at it like rabbits) should either stop shagging with people they’re not supposed to or learn to live with the consequences of their actions.

Are we over it yet?

The most sensible #superinjunction tweet

Some numbers that don’t add up

My colleague Joseph Peart put together some numbers for me regarding the use of Twitter and they are interesting.

Stats from Fortune magazine, May 2, 2011 (pp42 – 45). “Trouble @ Twitter” by Daniel Roberts

• 47% of those who have Twitter accounts are no longer active on the service.

• The time spent per month has dropped from 14min 6sec in 2010 to 12min 37sec in 2011. (Joseph Peart estimates that if usage continues to drop at 1 ½ minutes a year; by 2020, there will be no Twitter users.)

• 40% of Tweets come from a mobile device.

• 70% of Twitter accounts are based outside the U.S.

• 50% of active users access Twitter on more than one platform.

• Not all Twitter users are tweeters: less than 25% of users generate more than 90% of worldwide tweets.

• Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears have more Twitter followers that the entire populations of Sweden or Israel.

Then, from the book “Socialnomics” by Erik Qualman.

• We no longer search for the news the news finds us via social media.

• 96% of Millenials have joined a social network.

• Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.

• If Facebook were a country it would be the World’s 3rd largest.

• 60 million status updates happen on Facebook daily.

• 50% of mobile internet traffic in the UK is for Facebook

• It seems that Gen Y considers email passé, so some Unis have stopped distributing email addresses and are distributing eReaders, iPads and/or Tablets

• YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world

• There are more than 200 million Blogs worldwide.


Veitch and Holmes – on-the-record is forever

March 1, 2009

The Tony Veitch saga continues to get front page treatment in the Sunday papers. In this week’s installment the Herald on Sunday reports on its own involvement in the case and a police warrant to search the paper’s office.

The last time I had a serious go at the HoS, I got an irate call from editor Shayne Currie and an offer (or maybe a challenge) that I spend some time in the paper’s newsroom to see for myself how it worked and how the integrity of its reporting is maintained. I was just about to leave on an extended overseas trip, so couldn’t take up the offer, but I fully intend to…as soon as I get the book manuscript off my desk.

Anyway, as I told Shane last year, I am not having a go at individuals, nor do I pick on any particular paper or media outlet in my commentary. My aim is to put on the table some discussion points and to provoke debate. That’s my intention this week and it also happens that there’s a Rosemary McLeod column in the Sunday Star Times on the Vietch story; so I intend to be very even-handed.

The statement that caught my eye in the HoS story (page 3 in the print edition) was:

Editor Shayne Currie said the newspaper would co-operate with police in accordance with police guidelines for media searches, but would not breach any journalistic ethics. He said he would be taking legal advice as well as consulting Holmes before deciding whether the tape would be handed over.  [HoS hit by Veitch search warrant]

I am curious about how this ethico-legal paradox might unfold.

Meanwhile, over at the SST, Rosemary McLeod is sounding off about the use of lawyers to stifle debate – in particular attempts to gag journalists and commentators through the use of legal threats. As reported last week, Veitch’s legal and PR machine is threatening to go after media outlets which, they believe, might be having a go at Tony.

Rosemary is not happy about it:

What the public doesn’t know is how often the threat of legal action silences the media.[Money talks – we are gagged]

Really, is it all that common?

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Celebrity picture wars – worth a mint

May 4, 2007

OK! wins Zeta Jones picture battle
A British magazine has won a House of Lords appeal against a rival publication that published photos as a way of ‘spoiling’ its exclusive deal with Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones to print images from their wedding.
The judges’ ruling is interesting. They decided that OK! magazine had paid for the right to impose a confidentiality agreement on wedding guests, one of whom is presumed to have taken the secret photos and sold them to rival Hello magazine.
So let’s put this in perspective:
Two rich bums decide they want to make money by selling pictures of their celebrity-splashed wedding to a magazine. They sign an exclusive and then impose a confidentiality agreement on their guests (are you following this Aunty Beryl?). A court agrees that because money has changed hands, the guests are bound by this dubious contract.
It seems to me that the rights of the wedding guests to attend said celebration, get pissed and behave like idiots have been infringed here.
A word of warning. If you’re planning a wedding, make sure you sign a confidentiality agreement with the photographer and ban your guests from taking happy snaps. Your exclusive with the Woman’s Weekly could be at risk.
If the worst happens, you could always take the guest’s cameras and feed them to that big sloppy dog on television who seems to like chowing down on the odd Canon sure-shot.