Superinjunctions and the Social Web

21 04 2011

It began in earnest with Trafigura but the freedom to publish now means that the superinjuction, a form of gagging order in which the press is prohibited from reporting even the existence of the injunction, or any details of it, is now almost impossible to enforce.

In the case of Trafigura The Guardian reported that it had been prevented from covering remarks made in Parliament by a superinjunction from libel lawyers Carter Ruck.   The Guido Fawkes blog identified that the question related to the allegations of waste dumping in the Ivory Coast by oil trader Trafigura.  Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian tweeted about it and Stephen Fry played a key role in spreading the story via twitter.

In recent weeks superinjunctions have been used by actors, TV presenters, bankers and footballers to prevent papers from revealing stories about their private lives.  A quick search for the word superinjuction on Twitter or using Google Realtime search and you will see the names of many of the alleged protagonists.   When I began my career in PR you needed to have good contact in a national newsroom to get the sort of information that never made it into print, now you just need a rudimentary knowledge of how to use a search engine.

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24 05 2011
Social media, Giggs and the future of privacy.

[…] so simple. The influence of social media on privacy and the law has been evident for some time.  I wrote about it in April shortly before the current media storm blew.   The Trafigura debacle more than 18 months ago […]

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