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This article was published on May 31, 2011

A new Twitter user is revealing more celebrity gagging orders

A new Twitter user is revealing more celebrity gagging orders

Reports abound that a new Twitter user going by the name of @Legal_Aids has been publishing yet more claims about High Court gagging orders taken out by high-profile celebrities and politicians.

At the time of writing, the Twitter account in question has well over a thousand followers. The user has been posting fresh claims about supposed gagging orders, with links to news articles and court documents, though many of the ‘revelations’ link to old, existing stories and court documents that don’t name the celebrities in question.

Whilst it was reported that Twitter had started the process of removing a lot of the information, the nature of Twitter as a real-time publishing platform means that information has already been retweeted. And this is why Twitter is proving such a difficult platform to manage from a legal perspective.

This news follows in the wake of a number of other Twitter-related privacy stories of late. Most notably there was the UK sportsman – later announced as being footballer Ryan Giggs by a top MP – who was suing Twitter in the aftermath of his identity appearing across the social network.

And then there was the story of the whistleblower from South Tyneside Council, whose personal data was handed over by Twitter following a subpoena actioned by the Council in a Californian court.

This only adds weight to the argument that platforms such as Twitter can’t be effectively managed by current privacy legislation. Twitter is global and facilitates anonymity so, short of banning Twitter and similar sites outright, I really don’t see how super-injunctions and other court-issued orders can be properly administered.