30,000 Twitter Users May Face Legal Action for Tweeting About a Soccer Player’s Affair With a Reality TV Star

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Imogen Thomas Photo: Neil Mockford/FilmMagic

When rumors starting floating that Manchester United player Ryan Giggs had an affair with Big Brother reality star Imogen Thomas, Giggs sought help from the English courts. Perhaps in the wake of the News of the World celebrity phone hacking fiasco and ongoing privacy investigations into social media, the U.K. was inclined to side with Giggs, granting him a "super injunction" that the media could not use his name or discuss the fact that he had gone to court to seek a gag order. Giggs also demanded that Twitter identify people who are tweeting his name. Over the weekend, Twitter users protested Giggs's super injunction, a big source of controversy in the UK.

Ironically, it was a statement given by a British MP today that lifted the blackout, prompting mainstream U.K. news outlets like the BBC to finally print Giggs's name. The MP, John Hemming, said,

"With about 75,000 people having named Ryan Giggs on Twitter, it is obviously impracticable to imprison them all."


However, the Independent says that doesn't rule out legal action against the 30,000 users the paper says have broken the injunction, which technically still stands. However, U.S. freedom of speech laws make may bringing charges difficult. In the meantime, let's all congratulate Ryan Giggs. Your over-zealous cover-up is about the only reason American audiences now know your name.

30,000 Twitter users could face legal action over gag breaches [Independent UK]
U.K. Media Finally Start Ignoring Law That Prevents Them From Typing “Ryan Giggs [AllThingsD]
What Is A Super-Injunction, And Why Does A UK Football Star Want To Sue Twitter? [BI]