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Twitter won’t protect users from court

Ryan Giggs, footballer with Manchester United has been at the center of an affair scandal in recent weeks. To protect his identity he logged a ‘super injunction’ to stop the English press speaking out about him.

It all went very pear shaped however when information leaked on Twitter about his identity, and then a short while later, a Scottish newspaper posted his image on the front page of their paper saying that they were outside the legislation of the law.

The name of Ryan Giggs was mentioned by MP John Hemming, who had parliamentary privilege protecting his comments. People outside the UK will find the whole escapade rather bewildering, because there are some rather outdated laws still in action over here.

Ryan Giggs: Manchester United Footballer

Lawyers representing Giggs have petitioned the US based Twitter now for names and addresses of those who they claim broke the superinjunction. There are 75,000 people apparently listed.

Twitter chief Tony Wang has recently spoken to the BBC News and he said “Platforms have a responsibility, not to defend that user but to protect that user’s right to defend him or herself”.

He added “If we’re legally required to turn over user information, to the extent that we can, we want to notify the user involved, let them know and let them exercise their rights under their own jurisdiction. That’s not to say that they will ultimately prevail, that’s not to say that law enforcement doesn’t get the information they need, but what it does do is take that process into the court of law and let it play out there.”

MP John Hemming said “If you are going to have an expensive firm of lawyers chasing down ordinary people, with a view to threatening them with a jail sentence because they have gossiped about a footballer, that is fundamentally wrong.”

KitGuru says: Is chasing 75,000 people really the best course of action?

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