Tuesday, 4 June 2013

High Court Judge makes new Social Media Law (re: Breach of CourtInjunctions)

Less than two weeks after the Hon. Mr Justice Tugendhat delivered judgment on the McAlpine v Bercow Twitter libel affair (see here and here), the UK's top media and libel judge has made new law and sent out another clear message to social media users.

Namely: the internet may have made everyone a  publisher, however the internet did not made publishing responsibility free. Therefore, don't say anything on social media you wouldn't say on a print newspaper.

This time round the message from the legal mill is a little more social media-user friendly. OK, to understand things we need to go back to here on Defero Law. In that post entitled, "Is Social Media Uncontrollable?" I talked about two men who posted images of the two men who killed Jamie Bulger. This was in breach of a court order; therefore there was a legal effect to their actions (see Social Media and the Law: Know Where You Stand, my blog on the Huffington Post).

The two men were originally convicted and handed down prison terms. Now this has changed. See tweets bellow from Adam Wagner.

Full judgement available below in tweet from the Judicial Office:

This is another important step on the road to hammering out the law that governs activity on the social web. Just this time the judge has made new law that makes it clear what will happen if you publish comments online that breach a court order. And as Adam Wagner rightly said: "TAKE NOTE!"

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