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Fred Goodwin’s “affair” super-injunction shredded by internet

March 12, 2011 One Comment

I've written before about superinjunctions, the difficulties of bloggers learning about reporting restrictions, and the problems the internet causes for super-injunctions (update: and now, of course, the problem of super injunctions and twitter).

This morning, however, has seen a deliberate attempt by some people to use the internet to reveal what they claim that the super-injunction about disgraced RBS boss Fred Goodwin covers.


Superinjunctions stop you saying that the injunction even exists

Newspapers reported on the existence of this super-injunction this week, when Parliamentary Privelege was used to reveal that it forbade identifying Goodwin as a banker.

On the face of it this made no sense - he's obviously a banker and no online papers have removed old articles saying this.

So the superinjunction must have covered something else. Some people are today claiming he had an affair. How do I know this? Because if you type "Fred Goodwin affair" into Google, you see this:

Search results

Googling "Fred Goodwin affair"

Obviously, I have no idea whether he is or not and don't care.

But, as ever, if the super-injunction is dealing with an alleged affair, no one has told Google about it. And someone has edited Wikipedia to include claims of an affair, as the screenshot shows (you can read that here).

This story on Guide Fawkes's blog also deliberately all-but-identifies Goodwin (and the comments on the post make this explicit - I don't know whether he moderates them or not):

Blog post talking about a banker's affair with the name crossed out

Guess who?

There is also a comment on the Independent website under the story about Fred Goodwin's super-injunction that says this (again, I don't know if the Indy moderates these):

Comment about a banker's affair

Comment on Independent site

The Mail removed its own story that predated the super-injunction about an unnamed banker but, as is pointed out here, that story is still live on its mobile site.

Daily Mail mobile site screenshot

Removed story still live on Mail mobile site

Similar speculation is also rife on Twitter as Jon Slattery points out.

If the superinjunction is in place to stop publication of an alleged affair, it is finished. The claims are out in the open - in Google, on social media sites, on newspaper sites, on Wikipedia and on popular blogs (there are more than I've listed here).

Presumably the tabloids' lawyers are applying for the super-injunction to be overturned now if it is about this.

Photo credit.

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