Random thoughts of a Maidenhead man

Ryan Giggs' cat is out of the bag

Posted in Twitter on Tuesday 24 May 2011

So the cat is well and truly out of the bag. Ryan Giggs has been named in Parliament and on the BBC and other mainstream media networks as the footballer at the centre of the privacy row that has been brewing for weeks.

What I wanted to blog about was Mr Giggs' misguided approach to the breaking story. I think perhaps his wealth helped steer him in the wrong direction. If he didn't have the money to spend on lawyers in the first place, he would be in a much better position tonight, 23 May.

His alleged liaison with Imogen Thomas (Welsh Big Brother 2006 contestant) was, of course, his first mistake. Let's not forget had he not allegedly cheated on his wife in the first place none of this would have happened. Why he would have an affair with someone who clearly has a track record of publicity seeking, and then expect it not to be leaked, only he knows.

However, having done the deed (for several months I believe), various people find out...presumably also his wife.  I am not sure of the details of this part of the story and, to be honest, I don't think it matters.

What he should have done at this point, of course, is fessed up.  Told the truth.  Said sorry.  Held his hands up. Mistakes happen.  I messed up.  A few thousand football fans would have cared.  Closer magazine would have had something to write about that week.  The world would then move on.  And millions of non-football fans like myself still wouldn't be able to pick Ryan Giggs out of a line up.

Instead, it seems like he was ill-advised to use some of his wealth to obtain a gagging order to stop the main stream media identifying him in relation to this affair.  Someone should have told him it would never work.  But I guess, surrounded by lawyers who would profit from his needs, he was never going to get to hear that. 

The super-injunction which he obtained is a bizarre legal curiosity.  Main stream media is told that it cannot report the story or mention it at all.  But, of course, it has to be told what the story actually is, so it knows what it can and cannot talk about.  So you have a situation where perhaps hundreds of journalists know the truth but are not allowed to report it.  To summarise: people paid every day to spread news are told some news and told not to tell anyone about it.  A recipe for disaster.

The super-injunction legal structure would have made sense perhaps 50 years ago when the only places ordinary people got the news was from newspapers and the TV.  Now though, in 2011, it makes no sense at all.

The final thread holding the cat in the bag was broken, however, when Mr Giggs tried to sue Twitter on 20 May.  New user InjunctionSuper broke the name on 8 May. I saw lots of tweets about it and it only took a few seconds to track the account down and follow it. That was the day after, 9 May, if I remember correctly.   Within hours thousands of people were following it and I recall both Ryan Giggs and Imogen Thomas being Twitter trending topics together at least once.  Clearly people were tweeting about the story.

Twitter is an American company and chose not to even respond to the legal threat.  It's very unlikely anything would have come of it as Twitter would have claimed they were not making the statements directly but are merely a platform for messages.  So - more wasted money and yet more fuel to the publicity fire.

As I tweeted on 22 May:

It's the utter pointlessness that gets me. Suing twitter. 8-| It's like he wants to make an egg from an omelette. #superinjunction

And now we have the situation tonight where every news website is covering the story, it's the top story on the TV news and, no doubt, it will feature heavily in the papers tomorrow.

Entree @ Kofoo - 334 8th Avenue

Creative Commons License photo credit: wEnDaLicious

No, Mr Giggs, it's a one-way trip.  You can't make an egg out of an omelette.

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