It was today announced that Twitter is to be sued by a married sportsman who is currently going by the guise of CTB. I can’t of course reveal the name of said sportsman because of the very reason he is suing the micro-blogging site. He has a super-injunction against naming him after having an affair within his marriage. But the problem is someone has already said his name… or rather tweeted it.
This all happened a few weeks back and was widely reported in papers and on websites. You’re obviously not allowed to break super-injuctions – a rule the press normally stick to, but who’s going to police a random user on Twitter? It was seen back then as just another piece of evidence against the whole society of super-injuctions which seems to have emerged. It was forgotten and the world moved on, knowing a little more about the power the internet is bringing.
But claimant CTB was not happy about this and has got together a team of lawyers who are now planning to sue Twitter and the users who spread the word.
There’s never been a case like this before, its effectively a test and will no doubt set a precedent for how social networks operate in the future. After all, if Twitter are to lose, we could see a massive amount of our online freedom taken away. The site will be forced to censor what is said – a nigh on impossible and in my opinion unnecessary process. A win for CTB could see a setback for the very open internet we are now accessing.
But will CTB be able to sue Twitter. It’s not exactly going to be an easy case, after all, Twitter themselves didn’t say anything illegal, but someone using their service did. Where exactly will the law stand on that, social networks are still a very new technology for some of our archaic laws.
And Twitter are unlikely to give up the information for their users without a fight, the US authorities have tried to make them do that a couple of times without success.
And then there’s the fact that Twitter, despite being worldwide, is a US based company and therefore does not fall under the jurisdiction of the British court system.
I think it’s unlikely that CTB will win and if anything, the whole case could end up backfiring against them. Instead of making an example of a user on Twitter for breaking a super-injuction, it could commence the destruction of the super-injuction system, at least for so-called ‘celebrities’. I certainly hope so as I don’t believe such banning orders should exist for these people, if they’ve done something they shouldn’t, why should they be able to continue their career based on lies?
The next few weeks will be interesting and I’ll be following this case very closely, it could make a big difference to the future of an unrestricted internet which we’ve had for so long.