01 October 2009

Me, Twitter and the BBC

Earlier this afternoon I read this story on Guido Fawkes' blog about my former young Tory sparring partner, Donal Blaney, being given permission to serve an injunction via Twitter.

My first thought, apart from that 140 characters makes for a short injunction (a link is being tweeted), was that it doesn't much help if the offender tweeter fails to comply with the injunction - enforcement is still a bit of an issue, to say the least. Short of a disclosure order against Twitter, such legal action appears to be a little fruitless - although failure to comply would constitute contempt of court, which carries sanctions far greater than any damages likely to be awarded to Donal - if the perpetrator is ever uncovered.

I made a short comment to this effect on Guido's blog (number 6) and sent a short tweet from Bootlaw and thought nothing more of it.

Then, a few minutes later I saw a tweet from BBC tech correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, asking Donal to send him the injunction tweet.

So, I sent Rory a direct message offering commentary on the matter, and quickly checked the Civil Procedure Rules on service of documents. Moments later I had a response from Rory, asking me to call him on his mobile. We spoke twice (he called back to confirm the details) and he asked if I was aware of any other strange examples of service of legal documents - I said I thought there was a case involving Facebook.

Literally, half an hour later, this appeared on BBC news: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8285954.stm - currently the 4th most popular story on the site!

Amazing how you can get free publicity, just using Twitter, eh Donal?

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