Many people are panicking over the fact that Ryan Giggs may try to obtain the names of all the people who tweeted anything about himself and Imogen Thomas. The news that twitter was disclosing the authors of four accounts in a case in South Tyneside last night brought about a flux of tweets from people worried that this case-precedent will help Giggs and that everyone is for the slammer.
As Lee Corso would say (no-one knows this side of the pond who Lee Corso is – this saddens me) ‘not so fast my friend’
First of all has a crime been committed? Technically yes. If anything put out in a public forum that Ryan Giggs had an injunction against Imogen Thomas before it was revealed in the House of Commons by Lib Dem MP John Hemming last week then they are as I understand it with my layman’s view of law guilty of contempt of court. However in reality the CPS would not see it as in the Public Interest to arrest and charge everyone involved in saying anything that may have broken the injunction of any social networking site. So the likelihood of everyone getting a criminal record from this is shall be say minute and that is being kind to the chance.
Next up is whether multi-millionaire Ryan Giggs would want to individually sue everyone involved. Can you see a footballer deciding to take on what they are reporting as up to 75,000 civil actions against members of the public? No. Neither can I. If Ryan Giggs really wants to go after someone through twitter it will be the first accounts that reported it – namely the anonymous ‘injunctionsuper’ account would be his target as there is a considerable chance that this account user actually knew of the injunction and had seen legal papers therefore directly violating the injunction. Other people who had commented on it afterwards had not and therefore any success in a case by Ryan Giggs would be a long-shot.
Ryan Giggs has played his hand extremely badly and with only a year or two left as a player he has a big choice as to what he wants to do after e finishes playing football. If he wants a job either as a coach, a manager or TV pundit then any suit against multiple members of the public will not be forthcoming. I can not imagine any media outlet taking on such a toxic personality considering what the public would feel towards him at that point and the same goes for any club knowing the backlash they would get from the fans. If he wants a reclusive life counting his pennies then he can sue and become one of the most hated people in the country.
The ball as they say is in his court. The thing is though at the end of the day nobody gives a damn that he cheated on his wife. They just don’t. At some point if he has good advice he will let the injunction slide and take the short-term public hit and apologise publicly to both his wife and to all his fans around the world. People will very quickly forgive and forget and he can enjoy doing whatever he likes for the rest of his career. Pursue a civil case against the public at large and his future will be as private as he wants it to be as nobody will touch him job wise.
If any of the legal stuff is inaccurate then please let me know. I did pass Journalism Law back in 2003 but heck that was a fair while ago…
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