Twitter releases user details and hits the headlines

Sunday Telegraph Twitter story

Front page news: The Sunday Telegraph on Twitter

There was further proof today that the online world is not entirely immune from offline rules.

Following a landmark court case in the US it has emerged that Twitter will reveal user details after a group of UK councillors complained they had been libelled on the site.

The microblogging site had already set out its privacy limits in January following both the social media-aided Egyptian protests and the aftermath of the Wikileaks affair.

But this time it’s officials at South Tyneside local authority, rather than the US government, who have forced Twitter to hand over user information.

There will be predictable criticism (online no doubt) that Twitter shouldn’t bow to such lowly legal concerns, as if the internet is free from any and all constraints, but increasingly that’s not true in the UK.

Earlier this week it emerged that Lord Sugar had been ordered by a High Court judge to remove a tweet he posted about MPs’ expenses.

Meanwhile, the Press Complaints Commission – which has, rather remarkably, only received one complaint about newspapers’ use of information posted to Twitter – also has the microblogging network in its sights.

The press watchdog is to launch a consultation on how best to regulate newspapers’ tweets and, potentially, also individual journalists’ public ‘work’ accounts.

Back to where this post began and another noteworthy aspect of today’s Twitter story.

Despite the site’s growing profile – and charting its highest ever UK traffic following the super injunctions furore, it was still a surprise to see Twitter as the subject of the front page lead on today’s Sunday Telegraph.

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  1. Twitter: Don’t doubt the details | GannettLocal Blog

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