Super-Injunctions, Twitter, and Celebrities Explained
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You may have noticed that the Internet is all a-Twitter (pun intended) over super-injunctions (a/k/a superinjunctions), but despite that, it may well be that you have no idea just what a super injuntion is, nor why you should care. If you are from the U.S. you’re even less likely to know, and so if you are asking yourself “What is a super-injunction?”, well, we’ll explain.

As you may be aware, a plain old (i.e. “not super”) injunction is an order from the court, directing someone or someones to refrain from doing something. Someone who is the subject of an injunction is said to be “enjoined” from doing that thing. So, for example, if an injunction is issued to stop demolition of a building until the court can determine if the building deserves protection as an historic landmark, the demolition company, and the organizations for whom they are working, can be said to be enjoined from tearing the building down.


Now think of celebrities, and gossip magazines and other “news” reporting outlets, and how those outlets looove to break news about celebrities, including revealing personal information and photos.

A celebrity may request an injunction against a news organization, enjoining them from printing, publishing, or otherwise sharing private information about the celebrity. In Europe, which has somewhat different – and stricter – privacy laws than does the U.S., the celebrity is as likely as not to have the injunction granted.

Now we get to the super-injunction.

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A super-injunction not only stops the enjoined party from sharing the personal and private details of the person who is protected by the injunction, but it also stops the enjoined party from telling anybody that there is an injunction at all. The fact that the celebrity got an injunction is (supposed to be) a big secret.

So what does this have to do with Twitter?

Earlier this week an unnamed individual created the Twitter account InjunctionSuper, from which he or she posted exactly 6 message (tweets), naming some very high profile celebrities who had allegedly taken out super-injunctions. Now, of course, nobody is supposed to mention that these celebrities have super-injunctions, and so the very act of stating that is, under EU law, violating the very super-injunctions which they are outing.

 

If in fact these celebrities do have super-injunctions, then by discussing them, InjunctionSuper is in violation of them. Perhaps even more interesting is that anybody re-tweeting those revealing messages could also be in violation and, perhaps, Twitter could be liable for not suspending the account.

Practically speaking, however, going after Twitter users for repeating what some anonymous person said about someone in another country, well..isn’t. And Twitter itself, as a U.S.-based company, whlle not impossible to go after, would be able to drag things out for years. (And we hasten to add that nobody has suggested that they would go after Twitter, or Twitter’s users – this is just an academic exercise.)

In any event, this is, likely, all just a tempest in a teapot. The subjects of the 6 tweets – at least the ones who are talking – are denying having taken out a super-injunction. The Twitter account is completely devoid of anything giving it any credibility – it still even has the default egg image as its profile picture – and it is only following 3 accounts, none of which are remarkable in any way.

What is remarkable is that InjunctionSuper has amassed over 100,000 followers, 40,000 of those jumping on in just the first 24 hours.

You can check out the super-injunction tweeter InjunctionSuper here.

super-injunction-twitter-injunctionsuper

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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