Super-injunctions don’t seem to want to leave the headlines. The latest news is of the long awaited inquiry into super-injunctions and how they are policed. And social networking sites were one of the core focuses of the inquiry.
“Modern technology is totally out of control”, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge said – and social networking sites, where people are free to post details of super-injunctions online, are impossible to police.
The inquiry follows yesterday’s news of a super-injunction being lifted. The chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Sir Fred Goodwin, had taken out an injunction to prevent the media publishing details of his affair with a senior colleague. (He also once took an injunction out to prevent the press from calling him a ‘banker’). Politicians claimed that the affair was in the public’s interest as the relationship would have affected his judgment in the lead up to the collapse of the bank. This meant the injunction was yesterday partially lifted by the High Court.
However, married footballers and world famous actors are being granted the super-injunctions, with their affairs being kept secret – and why not? They can afford it after all, and what business is it of the public?
It would seem that the public are getting tired of celebrities who are lauded for their ‘family man’ persona, when in fact the persona they portray is far from the truth.
With the popularity of Twitter continuing to rise, it is now no longer a place to just follow your favourite celebrities, but a place to ‘out’ them, so to speak.
An anonymous Twitter user set up an account exposing celebrities who have obtained injunctions in an attempt to get around court orders. However, these exposes were littered with mistakes, causing plenty of distress to those mixed up in the injunction claims.
And it would seem that the anonymous Tweeter’s posting false claims could cause people to lose trust in sourcing news from Twitter and other social networks. At the inquiry, the Lord Judge said the internet had “by no means the same degree of intrusion into privacy as the story being emblazoned on the front pages of newspapers”, which “people trust more”, he said.
With all the super-injunction stories we have read over the past few weeks, it feels like courts are continually granting them, which has led to concerns over how easily they are given out. The inquiry said that the use of super-injunctions and regular injunctions should be kept to a minimum, and only be imposed for a limited period.
The judges said only two fully secret super-injunctions have been granted since the start of 2010. They are injunctions that are so secret that even their existence cannot be reported – so don’t search on Twitter for them anytime soon.
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