UK tries to apply media bans to Facebook and Twitter users: is that a good idea?

Gigaom

The British government, responding to a flood of chatter about court cases on social media, is publishing new guidelines this week to warn people that there can be trouble if they post restricted information on sites like Facebook(s fb) and Twitter.

The rules, described on the UK Attorney General’s website, purport to “help prevent social media users from committing a contempt of court,” and are an attempt to extend traditional media publication bans to the public at large.

The move comes at a time when UK courts, which regularly issue publication bans that would be unthinkable in America, are losing their power to muzzle information. In one famous example, soccer player Ryan Giggs obtained a “super-injunction” to cover up an affair, but Twitter users spread his name far and wide all the same.

In the case of Giggs, the social media explosion can be seen as a fitting response…

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