Report: Twitter sued by world-famous soccer star

A world-famous soccer player, desperate for the world not to know that he had allegedly enjoyed an extra-marital affair, reportedly sues Twitter after his name appears in various tweets.

Soccer players tend not to be of the highest intellectual caliber. They are, after all, too busy playing soccer.

However, I wonder if one particular British soccer player--a very famous one at that--might have plunged below the normal soccer player IQ standards by reportedly filing a lawsuit against those sporting chaps at Twitter.

Business Week--and just about every newspaper in the world that enjoys the world's most lovely game--has witnessed the appropriate court papers.

The British lawsuit not only goes after Twitter but also reportedly seeks retribution against "persons unknown responsible for the publication of information on the Twitter accounts."

Here's the quick version of the story. British judges tend to favor those who have an awful lot of money. So they have begun to issue things that have been called super-injunctions.

These basically state that a famous person who might have behaved badly outside of his marriage or merely outside of a pub, cannot be publicly outed. It's called a super-injunction because news organizations cannot even publish the fact that such a super-injunction exists.

Is the ball solely in the hands of the court? CC ShawnZRossi/Flickr

In this case, a seemingly very nice Welsh lady called Imogen Thomas wanted to reveal details of her affair with this married and very famous soccer player after he allegedly told her he loved her and then, well, allegedly didn't quite live up to those elevated feelings.

The super-injunction prevented her from revealing the player's name, so she has been forced merely to reveal her distraught feelings on British television and in British newspapers.

Naturally, the British press is rather upset about all this. There could be as many as 60 of these super-injunctions floating around. Some celebrities have even taken to Twitter to deny being part of such draconian legal measures, after a tweeter decided to reveal certain names that might be involved, a list which may or may not all be accurate.

This feed is still available on Twitter even though another feed, with the tempting handle SuperInjunction, suggested that the names had been redacted.

Jemima Khan, for example, who is famous for, um, a few things, took to Twitter to deny she was a super-injunctioner.

However, the world-famous soccer star suing Twitter seems keen to fight very hard in order for information that is widely known not to be widely known.

The Sunday Herald, for example, a fine Scottish paper, today printed a large picture of him on its front page with a very thin black bar across his eyes.

Scotland is part of the United Kingdom--sort of--but has its own laws. The paper took legal advice that declared it wasn't subject to the English judges' injunction. However, it didn't print the picture online and claimed that no copies were distributed in England.

The player has also been named in both Spain and Mauritius.

Perhaps famous people feel that their extra-marital amusements shouldn't enter public eyes and ears. But in suing Twitter, this very famous soccer player is surely heaping more and more attention on the very alleged indiscretion that he would like the world to forget.

One only needs to look at certain obvious Twitter hashtags to see hundreds of tweeters continuing to allege that they know the player's name.

Will they all be sued? Will this be a weird reverse class-action in which one famous, rich and allegedly unfaithful man tries to sue everyone who mentioned his name in association with this alleged dalliance on Twitter?

Twitter, for its part, hasn't commented on all this legal dribbling. However, should the soccer player succeed in all of his legal actions, he wouldn't necessarily help himself. But he might help others who wish to ensure that their own indiscretions are not revealed by a casual tweeter.

How long, though, can the English legal system continue to protect those who have money from being accountable to those whom they might have disappointed? For Twitter is a stunningly immediate, sweetly contemporary and really rather effective way of transmitting information to a rather wide swathe of the human race.

 

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