A certain Premier League footballers attempt to gag Twitter over his alleged adulterous private life backfired significantly as BBC journalists mentioned his name on social networking sites. It was announced in Parliament and a few days later on every national news channel in the country.
Many would argue that Twitter played a significant role in this case, being a medium in which angry journalists, MPs and members of the public who opposed the super injunction could freely publish the footballer’s name without breaking the law.
Did Twitter play a significant role in the resulting end of the super injunction? Or are we as a society tired of feeling that we are being denied the whole truth about the private lives of those in the lime light that this has been a long time coming?
Undoubtedly from a marketing perspective, Twitter has done exceedingly well out of the case in question, having inadvertently achieved what could be argued as one of the strongest PR campaigns a brand has ever seen. The 21st May, as news broke of aforementioned footballer attempting to gag the social network, saw record UK traffic to Twitter.com.
Whether or not super injunctions continue to be part and parcel of society, with social media channels such as Twitter out there, there will now always be a medium in which we can publish those things that may previously have never been known by the public.
When it comes to the rich and famous allegedly doing the dirty, regardless of whether or not we can agree that naming the individual is in the public’s interest, there are no places to run, no places to hide and certainly no second chances from a society where each and every individual is a publisher, free from any super-injunction ties. What is important therefore for each and every organisation is to have a clear and consistent communications strategy that takes this into consideration.
Twitter now plays an intrinsic communications role in society as incidents such as this attract a new audience, moving faster and faster away from ‘geeks’ and ‘news junkies’ to users coming to Twitter for instant access information that simply isn’t available from the mainstream media.
That said, with this kind of influence should Twitter be considering some established laws and precedents of its own? Or does regulation go against one of social media’s primary edicts – to publish the people’s voice for the world to see?