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Technology & Innovation

Twitter Tests Media Laws

Are social media above the super-injunctions that the so-called old media have to abide by? And is the current fuss in the U.K. really about press freedom or the right to spread poison?

What’s the Latest Development?

In the U.K. a so-called super-injunction muzzles the old media. They can’t publish the names of people involved in an alleged extra-marital affair, let alone the existence of the court order itself. Meanwhile, the man’s name appears in about 75,000 Twitter postings over the weekend. The New York Times: “The clash between old-media law and new-media reality soon descended into a chaotic farce.” 

What’s the Big Idea?

The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee says lest you feel sorry for the old media, who are bellowing about issues of press freedom, though they moralize about privacy, the press barons’ real agenda is to “spread the poison of envy, anger and hatred.” “Supposedly free spirits who whoop with anarchic delight at the internet’s freedom to let everything rip and thumb a nose at judges may celebrate. But few, apart from WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange perhaps, would want everything expose,” says Toynbee.


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