Daily Mail group in screeching U-turn on parody tweet persecution
Oh, we weren't that bothered, really
The Daily Mail group has dropped its legal action against a Twitter user who sent up one of its executives - just three days after news barons attempted to slap four criminal charges on the twit.
The retraction of the writ was revealed by the spoof tweeter, UnSteveDorkland, who parodied Steve Auckland, the CEO of the Daily Mail and General Trust's regional newspaper arm Northcliffe Media. The publishing giant, which launched legal action in California to unmask the anonymous Twitter user, has not commented on the case nor its decision to drop charges of hacking, defamation and impersonation.
UnSteveDorkland was however prepared to comment:
By withdrawing the case against me they have, finally, recognised the futility of their heavy-handed approach
Twitter refused to hand over its records that would have identified the user earlier this week after UnSteveDorkland and his lawyer filed an objection. Northcliffe had filed a subpoena demanding Twitter hand over all information about the account.
From what The Reg understands, Twitter's data on the user may not have identified him anyway - simply taking the relatively simple steps of using a throwaway email account and using a service like Tor to attempt to conceal the user's IP address would have been enough to muddy the trail.
Twitter only holds the registered email addresses, a record of login times and IP addresses and any direct messages sent or received by the account, as well as the user's tweet stream.
Many spoof Twitter accounts exist, some more tasteful than others, but they are not outlawed in Twitter's rules, which only state that it forbidden to straight-up impersonate someone else:
Impersonation: You may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse, or deceive others
Accounts that clearly label themselves as a spoof or satire are free from this charge. ®
So its official
steve auckland is in fact a dork.
whou'd have thunk it, him being from the daily fail and all.
unless, of course, the Fail's <ahem> private dicks have already tracked him down and it turns out that hes not a dole-scrounging-eastern european-housing queue jumping benefit scrounger, with links to al quaeda, in which case the fail thinks he has the right to say what he likes.
since euro directives stopped newsprint being used for wrapping chips there really is no reason for these revolting dinosaurs to continue to exist.
Re: So its official
They backed out of it before they were made to look stupid.
Re: Good news
I believe the problem with the example is because people seem to think that "freedom of speech" (namely the freedom to criticise the leaders, government, royals, etc) without being tortured, killed, or under the hazy fear of some sort of les majeste retribution...
...is actually the right to say stupid stuff like "I have a bomb in my backpack"*, or "at ten o'clock tomoorow I'm gonna blow the crap out of Liverpool International"*, or "I have a sniper rifle and Obama in my sights"*. Freedom of speech isn't the freedom to be able to say anything and everything.
* - These are fictional examples of idiotic things to say. It's sad I feel the need to point this out, but in this day and age, lawyers come before common sense.......