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.


Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody

July 12, 2008

Not true – Moac and I are off the the “thee-ate-‘er” anytime soon to see Cat on a hot tin roof – irresistible.

Before we go, just a quick hat tip to Lisa Owen, TVOne news reporter and in a tough spot. Lisa is the reporter covering the Tony Veitch affair.

Lisa, you have made this story worthwhile. You are maintaining some integrity for TVNZ in this crisis.

I think you were brave tonight to name Anthony Flannery because TV3 didn’t do that. The December meeting revalations made today by both TVNZ and the Radio Network add a new and needed dimension to this story. It’s not easy being in your position – inside the organisation that’s caught up in it.

You did a gutsy report on Wednesday too. You are part of the future and the recovery of the network’s news credibility.

I acknowledge you are also a colleague and friend to Tony Veitch – there was something in your eyes tonight that captured some pain (maybe my flighty imagination!). The conflict is there and you are at the frontline of journalism on this story.

It’s not a comfortable place but I admire your principled position – all power to you.

I’m sure there’s more to come out here – it’s become an ugly mess for everyone.

It’s interesting that we haven’t yet heard from the Dom Post on why they broke this story; who there sources were, or any deals that may have been done.

It seems that Ms Dunne-Powell might not have been consulted, but her family is saying very little. Was there an invasion of privacy here? Who confirmed to the Dom Post the existence of the confidentiality agreement? Was that done with Ms Dunne-Powell’s knowledge or not?

Friday’s Dom Post editorial did not answer these questions, instead it concentrated on nit-picking TVNZ.

However, I did enjoy the NZ Herald‘s Friday editorial, particularly this line, which I had rehearsed much earlier in the week:

The myth of the role model has never been more evident than in this case. Veitch, for all his ability to talk, could never have been regarded thus. Nor, for that matter, could the errant All Black Jimmy Cowan and numerous others whose personal failings have spoiled their professional facades. Could anyone seriously name a child or adult who looked up to these individuals in any kind of aspirational way?

[Leave Veitch for the police]

So to end the week’s frenzy – boquets and brickbats. Recipients know which award they’re to collect. Ladies and gentlemen, form an orderly queue to my right.

This has to hurt:

Veitch strife gets the Tui treatment


A Qantas winner, but still overcooking the eggs

May 18, 2008

I wrote last week about the 2008 Qantas Media Awards, suggesting that the surpreme winner – APN’s Herald on Sunday – might take the biscuit for circulation and zippy tabloid headlines, but that it also took the editor’s egg-beater to some stories in the chase for circulation. Well, I’m happy to say, my point’s been proved this week. A front page story about the “lavish” lifestyle of recently released 19-year-old Bailey Kurariki. Read the rest of this entry »


A blast from Palast

March 20, 2008

I don’t really have anything of substance to add, but this spray from Greg Palast on the hypocrisy in Washington and New York over the Spitzer affair is worth linking too just for the humour in the writing and the venom in the digital pen.
Eliot’s Mess

Here’s a taster:

While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an ‘escort’ $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush’s new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators.

Read the rest below the fold. Read the rest of this entry »


Bouqets not brickbats

March 16, 2008

I thought I’d keep readers up-to-date with the Blue Chip story from last week. I had a go at the Herald on Sunday for its front page piece about businessman Mark Bryers and his visits to an Auckland brothel.

I noted at the time that it would be interesting to see what the paper came up with this week. Well, it’s a much more detailed expose of some of Bryers’ and Blue Chips money trails. Much more like a good investigative piece; though still no allegations of criminal behaviour; just dodgy dealings and attempts to evade process servers.

And while I’m handing out some praise today, I thought the front page lead in Saturday’s NZ Herald about the difference in pay rates for New Zealand and Chinese flight attendants on Air New Zealand international services was great.

It had all the ingredients to make me really angry with Air New Zealand. It exposed their dreadful behaviour, one could almost suggest Air NZ is being racist in its dealings with Chinese staff. Of course the airline argues it’s contract is with a Chinese labour hire company and that the pay rates are about what the attendants would get in China – it’s all relative, the airline says. Read the rest of this entry »


A day in the life of Ashley Dupre: Celebrity callgirl to callgirl celebrity

March 15, 2008

It seems that 24 hours is a lifetime in the blogosphere. Just yesterday I was defending the right to privacy for sex workers caught up in scandals and media stories.
Now I find myself being amazed again at how quickly some people can turn adversity into a new adventure. Read the rest of this entry »


Prostitutes, privacy and media harrassment

March 14, 2008

Good things come in threes…but not it seems if you’re a sex worker caught up in a high profile media broo-ha-ha.
I recently mentioned a Herald on Sunday story that outed an Auckland businessman who frequented a brothel in the city. My point then was that the guy had done nothing illegal (at least as far as the paper could report), so why was the HoS harassing him?

I got a brief reply to an email I sent to the journalist. Basically her response was “I know a lot more, but can’t say anything for legal reasons.” Let’s see what next Sunday brings – perhaps another installment in that story.

The story also featured a photograph of a woman who, according to the caption, was a worker from the brothel in question. Her face was turned away from the camera, but she’d be identifiable to people who know her.

Now this week the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective has gone public with a complaint about an immigration department raid on another Auckland brothel in November last year when officials were accompanied by a television crew shooting for a reality TV series called Borderline which is produced by Auckland company Cream TV. Read the rest of this entry »


Brothel client front page news? Not

March 9, 2008

An interesting read over my breakfast martini this fine Auckland Sunday. The Herald on Sunday ran a splash (admittedly below the ‘fold’) about a wealthy Aucklander who likes his social life a little on the spicy side: “Blue Chip man’s brothel spend-up“.

The unfortunate who’s picture and private life were plastered across three pages of newshole (as only a splash can be plastered) is investment broker, rake-about-town and sometime property consultant, Mark Bryers.

Read the rest of this entry »