Toothless watchdog in “slightly interesting ruling” alert.
The Press Complaints Commission ruled on Tuesday that information posted on Twitter should be considered public and publishable by newspapers after it cleared the Daily Mail and Independent on Sunday of breaching privacy guidelines. … The Daily Mail and Independent on Sunday argued that the messages were public and could be read by anyone.
Well, of course messages posted to a Twitter account (or blog, or YouTube channel, or anywhere online) are not private. Everyone, even non-followers, can call up your Twitter page and see what you’ve written (unless you lock the account, but that wasn’t the case here). So there’s no invasion of privacy.
It doesn’t seem at all right, however, to use someone’s personal tweets to attack her. She made it quite clear that she was posting in a personal capacity and there doesn’t seem to have been any scandalous leaks of secret documents or anything like that, so the actual damage done is zero. It basically seems to be mischief making by the papers in question – the sort of thing we expect from the Daily Mail, I suppose.
I’m glad that I rarely, if ever, blog or tweet about work these days. If I did, I would end up in hot water faster than a lobster in a seafood restaurant.