Published on octubre 4th, 2009 | by GAby Menta0
British Court Uses Twitter to Serve.
A British High Court has used micro-blogging service Twitter to serve an injunction against an anonymous Web user who used the platform to impersonate someone else.
The court order demands that the Twitter user reveal his identity and stop posing as Mr Donal Blaney, a right-wing political blogger who blogs at a site called Blaney’s Blarney.
The Twitter user had impersonated Mr Blaney, owner of law firm Griffin Law, by using a Twitter account at BlaneysBlarney. The court oder states that the Twitter user breached the copyright of Mr Blaney, who termed the action as “mildly objectionable”, the BBC reported. The fake Twitter account, which is not owned by Mr Blaney, also uses the same picture the accompanies his legitimate blog site, which has added to the confusion, the Telegraph said.
The anonymous Twitter user will now get a message from the High Court advising him of the legal action the next time he logs on to the account. Mr Blaney turned to the Twitter service to serve the injunction rather than go through the potentially lengthy process of contacting Twitter’s headquarters in California in the United States and asking it to deal with the matter.
He decided to use Twitter to serve the injunction after a recent case in Australia in which Facebook was used to serve a court order. He said that he thought it was the first time Twitter had been used to deliver a court order.
British law states that an injunction does not have to be served in person and can be delivered by different means, including fax or e-mail. Mr Danvers Baillieu, a solicitor specializing in technology, said it was possible for anyone to approach the court about any method of serving an injunction if the traditional methods are unavailable. “The rules already allow for electronic service of some documents, so that they can be sent by e-mail, and it should also be possible to use social networks,” he said.
Legal experts believe the ruling could have wide-reaching implications. “I think this is a landmark decision to issue a writ via Twitter,” said Dr Konstantinos Komaitis, a lecturer at the University of Strathclyde’s law faculty. “You are creating a precedent that people will be able to refer to. It takes only one litigant to open the path for others to follow.”
Twitter’s surge in popularity has led to a growing problem of fake accounts. Earlier this week, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling joined the micro-blogging service after hearing that others had opened false accounts under her name.