Friday, May 13, 2011

You better start deleting those tweets

Today is a sad day for British democracy. Friday 13th, May 2011. Remember that date.

An injunction is now out that stops us mentioning something. If we mention it we go to prison. And so do you.

Is it something that could impact British security? Something that could endanger people’s lives? No.

Much more important. Someone who is about to have a life support machine turned off and doesn’t want it discussed, mentioned, commented is gagging Twitter and Facebook (telegraph).

Obviously for the family this is a distressing time but gagging Twitterers and Facebookers sets an horrendous precedent.

So what happens next? We all start deleting texts and tweets and pray to God that the door bell doesn’t ring? Maybe we abandon ever using social network sites again, “Just in case”.

But surely Twitter is a US based company and can ignore this injunction?

Twitter is, however, coming under pressure to delete tweets that comment on injunctions. Twitter could start deleting them (where do they start? Who will do it?) but there would be outrage.

Firstly it would indicate the tweets deleted are true and make a mockery of the UK. Secondly, nobody would use Twitter ever again. Thirdly, it would destroy the potential value of Twitter with a potential IPO on the horizon.

This is Chinese type censorship and a complete waste of time. The only people who benefit are lawyers (more fees) and the newspapers who end up being effectively controlled by the State. So this isn’t ever going to happen. Is it?

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