An unnamed footballer is suing Twitter after details of a super-injunction he obtained were published on the micro-blogging site.
The player, referred to as CTB in the court documents, is alleged to have had an affair with Imogen Thomas, a former Big Brother contestant.
In what will be a landmark case for UK media laws, the player issued legal proceedings against US-based Twitter and “persons unknown” on Wednesday.
Twitter hit the headlines earlier this month when an unknown user set up a feed that named the names of TV and sport stars alleged to have gagged the press on the subject of assorted indiscretions. The super-injunctions make it illegal to even mention that there is a super-injunction.
Twitter, which has millions of users worldwide, is based in the US and so is it outside the jurisdiction of the UK courts.
Last week Miss Thomas threatened to reveal the name of her former lover on live television after a judge accused her of blackmail.
The widespread discussion of super-injunction celebrities on Twitter highlights the weaknesses of laws preventing newspapers from publishing details about high profile public figures who have obtained gagging orders.
According to a report in the Guardian, Twitter feeds by reporters and newspapers are expected to brought under the regulation of the Press Complaints Commission.
The paper said it’s the first time the body has sought to consolidate social media messages under its remit. The PCC believes that some postings on Twitter are, in effect part of a “newspaper’s editorial product”.
The trade body plans to distinguish between journalists’ public and private tweets, according to the Guardian.