No news is some news

Posted on Tue 10 May 2011 in geek

There is currently a lot of consternation around Twitter users attempting to circumnavigate the latest batch of so called super-injunctions. The approach being taken by twitter users seems to involve throwing up a number of informed guesses as to the subjects of these injunctions and seeing what gets taken down. An interesting side-effect of the current injunctions being that someone might end up being found in contempt of court without actually knowing the facts that have been protected. It would be interesting if ignorance was actually held up to be a valid defence in this case.

The newspapers of course are free to egg things along by reporting on the reporting that they are unable to report on directly themselves.

However legal issues aside there is another problem with attempting to eradicate the collective memory of the internet. While things are extensively archived and uniquely indexed it become comparatively simple to look for the holes in the record. For example look at the Wikipedia Revision history for a random premier league footballer and you'll notice a number of edits that have been revision deleted rather than the usual straight reversion of wiki vandalism. This in of itself doesn't prove anything but it would certainly be an interesting exercise correlating the revision deletion patterns with reference to other entries including those that couldn't afford to be protected by injunctions.

I should point out I don't really care about stories of celebrities shagging around. Unless their behaviour is at odds with their public pronouncements on how the rest of us should lead our lives it's between themselves and their families. However there have been other cases of super-injunctions being used to prevent reporting on more serious matters where there was definitely a public interest in making more widely known.