Publishing via Twitter and Facebook banned in injunction

13 May 2011

For the first time a high court Judge in the UK has issued an injunction that explicitly bans the publication of information via Twitter or Facebook.

The judgement was made in the family division of the UK high court by Mr Justice Baker. It was made as part of a case involving a woman named as “M” who is suffering from swelling of the brain and who has been barely concscious since 2003. Her mother is seeking an order to withdraw medical treatment and allow her to die.

However, the decision comes in the wake of a separate storm of controversy surrounding tweets appearing last weekend that allegedly revealed the identities of celebrities involved in superinjunctions.

Traditionally injunctions of this kind impact on the publishing of information in any newspaper, magazine, computer network, internet website, sound or television broadcast or cable or satellite broadcast.

But today in relation to the “M” case, Mr Justice Baker specifically banned publishing information on any social network or media including Twitter or Facebook.

The order sets a precedent that will feature in future injunctions and the superinjunctions that are at the centre of a media storm.

According to The Guardian’s Charles Arthur, Twitter’s traffic reached its highest level on Monday 9 May as people searched for the names of the celebrities involved in the superinjunction case.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years