Log in

I forgot my password

Our latest tweets
Free Webmaster ToolsSubmit Express

Twitter user UnSteveDorkland uses George Clooney's picture

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Twitter user UnSteveDorkland uses George Clooney's picture

Post by Katiedot on Mon Jul 30 2012, 12:14

Nothing to do with George but it caught my interest

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

@UnSteveDorkland Twitter Author Could Face Jury Trial In US After Northcliffe Launches Legal Battle

The Huffington Post UK | By Stephen Hull Posted: 29/07/2012

An anonymous Twitter user has been served with US court papers by Northcliffe Media in a bid to force them to reveal their identity. In its nine-page civil cover sheet, seen by The Huffington Post UK and filed in San Francisco, Northcliffe claims the person behind @UnSteveDorkland hacked into company computers.

The case centres around a spoof Twitter account which parodies Northcliffe's chief executive Steve Auckland - and uses a profile picture of George Clooney.

The individual could also face a full jury trial in the US if Northcliffe, the regional newspaper division of the Daily Mail & General Trust, which also owns Metro, gets its own way. Northcliffe's full complaint is for "computer fraud and abuse, computer data access and fraud, and defamation/libel per se".

The papers also allege the mystery tweeter has three accounts which are used to post "false and defamatory statements".

"At least some of the information made public on Twitter by the Defendant was not known publically, and on information and belief, the only way that such information could be obtained was by hacking into an account at the Plaintiff's business."

The papers, filed against the name John Doe (a name used when the Defendant is unknown) also state that "unless restrained the Defendant will continue to commit such acts... the Defandant has caused irreparable and incalcuable harm."

Via email, the person behind @UnSteveDorkland told The Huffington Post UK: "The court documents behind the subpoena are amazing - suggesting I have been indulging in hacking, surveillance of staff and am responsible for the poor trading performance of the company.

"They have basically thrown the book at me without any real evidence; I suspect because they thought I would not have the means or the will to fight them in a Californian court.

"I WILL be fighting the subpoena. I have a lawyer working for me in California and papers will be filed in time this week to fight it before the deadline."

The story first came to light last week when it was reported by the Guido Fawkes blog.

Previously the person behind the @UnSteveDorkland account has told The Guardian: "It was a parody, pure and simple. Made a few people laugh, I hope. Pointed out some of the absurdities of corporate life."

Neither Northcliffe Media nor Steve Auckland were available for comment at the time of publishing.


Posts : 12369
Join date : 2010-12-05

Back to top Go down

Re: Twitter user UnSteveDorkland uses George Clooney's picture

Post by watching on Fri Aug 03 2012, 13:22

Twitter spoof account legal action dropped by Northcliffe

A UK newspaper group has withdrawn its legal action over a Twitter account spoofing its chief executive. Northcliffe Media, owned by the Daily Mail, filed a subpoena in the US to have the identity of '@UnSteveDorkland' revealed. But the account holder successfully challenged the order and the media group has subsequently backed down. The still-anonymous tweeter described the case on Friday as "shameful and unnecessary".

"By withdrawing the case against me they have, finally, recognised the futility of their heavy-handed approach and the entirely baseless nature of all the accusations they threw at me in a vainglorious attempt to divert attention from the real issue, namely their idea that by throwing money and bullying tactics at someone you can throttle freedom of speech," he said in an emailed statement.

"They underestimated me, they underestimated my lawyer Frank Sommers and they underestimated the power of the worldwide internet community."

In a statement, a Northcliffe spokesperson said the case was not about freedom of speech but about a barrage of messages that amounted to "cyber-bullying and harassment". It said the number of tweets sent through the anonymous account, 700 in four weeks, indicated a "disturbing obsession".

"His or her intention may initially have been humorous, but these tweets went far beyond commentary and satire, causing pain and offence," said the spokesperson. "We encourage humour in our business, but no workplace should be expected to tolerate an unrelenting flow of derogatory and degrading comments of questionable legality."

"Free speech is the lifeblood of our newspapers and websites," said the media group. "Here, in weighing the rights of an anonymous writer against the rights of staff singled out by name, we believed it was reasonable to ask Twitter to supply the identity of the person making these comments."


The unidentified man, understood to have at some point had close ties to the company, had been spoofing Northcliffe's chief executive Steve Auckland. Northcliffe, which publishes 84 of the UK's regional newspapers, had said the tweets had made staff "fear for their safety". In documents filed to a Californian court at the beginning of July, lawyers acting for Northcliffe alleged that the account holder had gained information about the company by "hacking into an email account at the plaintiff's [Northcliffe] business".

It also alleged he had posted information "apparently obtained from surveillance of plaintiff's employees".

The company insisted it was employee safety alone which had prompted the action.

"I can confirm we have taken action to ask Twitter for help in identifying the individual in order to protect our staff from harassment," Mr Auckland said in a statement before the case was dropped.

"We made no request for, nor had any input in, a decision to stop tweeting. Our first priority is a duty of care to all of our employees."

Another source at the company told the BBC: "Steve is a very open guy. The idea that he would gag someone just for being critical is just not credible - it was the offensive nature of the tweets."

'Crack a smile'

Twitter had been set to reveal the man's identity on 1 August. It said it would do so "absent the filing of a motion to quash". That motion came thanks to a lawyer who took on the case pro-bono - provided free of charge "for the public good". By dropping its legal action, Northcliffe has avoided a potentially long and expensive battle in the US courts. The account holder had strongly denied the company's allegations.

In his most recent statement, he added: "The management of Northcliffe Media should be spending its time, resources and attention on supporting, protecting and developing its loyal and hard-working staff, rather than attempting to suggest my tweets were in any way affecting morale or performance of the company.

"I thank the thousands of people who have supported me in this campaign. Crack a smile for me tonight at this decision - I started tweeting as a way to make people smile and I hope we can all smile that justice has prevailed tonight."


Practically on first name terms with Mr Clooney

Posts : 2002
Join date : 2011-01-17
Location : A padded cell somewhere

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum