Old media, meet the new

I had the unfortunate experience of attending last nights bad-tempered football match between Hearts and Celtic. The match will mainly be remembered for the moronic actions of one person who saw fit to invade the pitch and attack the Celtic manager. Think what you will of Neil Lennon but this disgusting act can not be explained away easily. The rioting and sectarian singing by the Celtic fans will be soon forgotten.

For reasons I can only guess at, The Scotsman pixelated the images of the idiot attacker’s face whereas every other newspaper I saw today decided to forego this and published them without any censorship. However, the individual did remain unidentified — in print at least.

Meanwhile, circulating on Twitter for all to see, was not only his name but his home address and mobile phone number too. I’d wager that — as well as a lifetime ban from every football ground in the country — a custodial sentence awaits. I certainly would have grave fears for his safety were he allowed to return to his home. That said, prison may not be the safest place for him either.

This comes after the fallout of the Twitter super injunction revelations is still to be fully realised. This privacy-for-those-who-can-afford-it has usually been circumvented and spread by word-of-mouth and in topical forums but now the message can reach literally thousands of people in an instant.

This viral nature of social networks can serve to highlight current global issues. Case in point: the Ugandan homosexual death penalty that has actually been around for years.

Over 150 million messages are now sent on Twitter every single day so active monitoring is not feasible. If things are somehow made more restrictive we must obviously be extremely careful to not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

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