Whatever happened to freedom of speech?

In fact, a super injunction prevents me telling you the answer to that…

Yes, we have to watch what we say now, even on micro-blogging sites, such as Twitter.

This has all made the headlines after a married premiership footballer had an affair with a Big Brother star. This ‘star’ has been named in the press, it’s Imogen Thomas. However, the footballer was granted a court order that prevents him from being named in the press – this is the, now illustrious, ‘super injunction.’

However, social media is not covered by this court order. A Twitter account was set up that revealed the identity of this footballer and many other ‘celebrities’ who were alleged to have had affairs. The media can comment about all of this but are prevented from naming any of the people involved.

The footballer didn’t let this die a death though; A reported 30,000 Twitter users are now at risk of being sued for revealing his identity. This, therefore, has caused his name to be used in the mud-slinging even more. Well, if nothing else, this conforms to the stereotype that footballers are as thick as two short planks.

So, does this super injunction culture demean the principles of freedom of speech? The front cover of today’s Independent gives their opinion:

Is this super injunction law a farce? Yes it is – the Sunday Herald had a picture of this footballer, barely censored, on their front page yesterday. They didn’t do this to sensationally reveal his identity; most people already know that. The Sunday Herald did this to expose the fact that super injunction law is not applicable in Scotland!

So, what did happen to freedom of speech? Well, it moved to Scotland. Let’s hope that this gagging order doesn’t follow it. If these adulterers can’t stand the heat then they should get out of the bedroom. They’ll reap all the benefits of their fame, enjoying the money, fast cars and… girls. Then they spit their dummy out when the consequences come back to bite them.

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About Katy Booth

BBC Broadcast Journalist who has worked extensively in newsrooms of BBC local radio, regional television and commercial radio. BJTC accredited, from The University of Central Lancashire.

Posted on May 23, 2011, in News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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