World Top Stories News - Scottish paper prints picture of super-injunction footballer as 30,000 unmask him on Twitter : A footballer's court battle to keep his alleged affair secret has provoked one of the biggest acts of civil disobedience in modern times.
The face of the star alleged to have taken out a privacy injunction was yesterday published by a Scots newspaper.
Football fans mockingly chanted his name at a match with a worldwide audience. And he was mentioned more than 30,000 times on Twitter, helping to ensure that anyone still unaware of his identity can discover it with a few clicks of a mouse. :
The dramatic backlash took its cue from MPs and peers who have spoken against injunctions. It left judges facing an overwhelming task if they try to maintain the gagging order while preserving any shreds of respect for the courts and their privacy laws.
One MP suggested that only a minority of people have not now heard a name for the Premier League footballer, who was granted a privacy injunction in April which forbade publication of his name or allegations that he had a six-month affair with former Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas.
Internet speculation on his identity began within a week, was fuelled by an MP who blurted out his name during the recording of a television programme, and was helped along by Miss Thomas, who has complained frequently that she can be named and her reputation has been traduced.
The Glasgow-based Sunday Herald yesterday published a picture of the player on its front page, clearly identifiable despite a bar placed over his eyes.
It named him inside the paper and added that his action against Twitter ‘raises questions over the future of free speech on social media sites’.
The paper has a circulation of just over 30,000, which means it is likely to be read by between 75,000 and 100,000 people.