Technical PR news: Super injunctions have been in the news this morning, this time highlighting the ability of social networking sites to spread gossip like wildfire. A popular Twitter account has been sharing the names of  the individuals who have taken out the gagging orders as well as the names of a number of people who, it appears, don’t have active super injunctions.

Clearly this exposes the shortcomings of privacy law, written on the hoof on the back of human rights legislation designed to protect an individual’s private life. 

It also proves that the information revolution created by popular broadband take up is continuing. We no longer have a London based media elite who know the secrets and a country who rely on second hand information. Now we have a nation of citizen journalists, ready to take arms whenever they think their liberties, or someone else’s liberties, have been infringed. 

At the time of writing the account had around 25,000 followers and, by the time you read this, I’m certain that number will have increased exponentially. There are 30 or 40 privacy injunctions and super-injunctions in force in the UK and there is much debate about how many of these ‘should’ have been granted and how many are there only to protect the vanity of the mega rich. 

“On a practical level, we simply cannot review all one 55million-plus tweets created and subsequently delivered every day,” said a Twitter spokesman. “There are tweets that we do remove, such as illegal tweets and spam. However, we make efforts to keep these exceptions narrow so they may serve to prove a broader and more important rule - we strive not to remove tweets on the basis of their content.”

And what’s the relevance to technical PR you may ask? Surely I could have found all of this out by listening to The Today Programme? 

Well, I’m occasionally told by non-IT literate prospects that their audience doesn’t use social networking tools. This news is just another piece of evidence that everyone uses them and will continue to do so. Building an audience using social media can be one of the most powerful awareness generating tools in your armoury. 

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