Posted by Tim Ireland at November 12, 2008

Category: Old Media

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
3:34 pm and is filed
under Old Media.

Excuse me while I carefully talk around something; I need to warn you about a small problem without using certain keywords for reasons that will be obvious in a few moments…

A tragic death is in the news, a political football is in play, a mob is gathering, and several people cannot be named for legal reasons; it is not clear what those reasons are specifically, but the names weren’t a big secret until very recently, so it probably has something to do with further court proceedings (that anyone with genuine interest in justice wouldn’t want to compromise).

But now, thanks to the good work of the wage-slaves of Rupert Murdoch, widely-distributed articles exist that give anyone with basic knowledge of search engines the means to discover the name of every individual involved within seconds.

At least one ‘blogger’ you should be familiar with (and who should know better) today published information from some cretin that helpfully highlighted the Murdoch-published data and specified on which site the first name could be found; that site just happens to offer kindergarten-level 2.0 tools, so anybody who found the relevant page could leave a comment (yes, these had already started to appear) and look up details of people who had earlier signed up as ‘friends’ of this unnamed person.

I’ve sent an email to the relevant provider, and that profile has now been removed.

Fingers crossed that it ends there, and not with a brick through some innocent person’s window.

UPDATE – The data published by a ‘blogger’ who should know better has now been removed.


  1. mikkimoose says

    I think your post may merely be propagating it, in the sense that I did not know the mother's name before, but I do now.I tend not to read any Rupert Murdoch newspapers, but about 3 minutes googling led me to the article in question, complete with the information that screams 'google me', and though the profile has been deleted, the name remains on Google.A further search using the thus elicited name and that which is already in the public domain, reveals, on a solitary Irish website, that all the personal data is in the public domain already. Further google searches lead to results on the BBC, Mirror, et al.It would be nice if the media/courts could perhaps let us know the reasoning behind the injunction. I wonder if the BBC are in breach by not removing all the old articles.

  2. mikkimoose says

    oh, beg pardon, old BBC story does say the mother was pregnant. Perhaps it is for the protection of this child. If so, it would presumably be better to publish this information so that people could have sympathy for it, as most I'm sure are mystified at the injunction protecting the parents' names.

  3. mikkimoose says

    hmm, did a bit more googling, the names are on CURRENT discussion threads on two very active forums, the info derived from googling the facts of the case to the numerous extant stories from last year.This whole injunction thing doesn't seem very effective – it would be a damn sight more effective if those involved actually had a bit of technical understanding and contacted the publishers to have the information removed from the interweb thingy.

  4. Anthony Wells says

    Hmm – someone is paying attention somewhere. The Times article with the "googleable info" seems to have been taken down, I think it's gone from Sky too.

  5. Manic says

    AW: The text has been removed from the Sun article that also carried this information. Good.mikkimoose: A calculated risk. "The information that screams 'google me'" in that kind of article, distributed to millions of readers is far more likely to do damage than my quiet warning to bloggers who may come charging into this outright with their exciting discoveries, and I twinned my warning with an email to the relevant media bods and the police. I'm equally mystified about the second point you raise, having seen those articles.

  6. Manic says

    Incidentally, it looks like this lot have been rehoused often/recently enough for the police to be concerned about pointless attacks* on more than one house in the area. A real headache, not helped by tabloid nonsense.(*Some people throw bricks instead of laying flowers.)

  7. mikkimoose says

    and two threads on Sun Online with the names retrieved from old news articles have been deleted.Still other blogs are adding the names – the numerous pre-trial articles naming the accused are still extant.Not sure which second point you were referring to, wasit my suggestion that if the injunction was to protect the other child (who was taken into care at birth apparently), it would perhaps be helpful to say this, to hopefully inhibit the 'I'm gonna name these scum who the law is protecting' posts on Sun Online and elsewhere.

  8. Manic says

    I agree on that point. We share confusion about the thinking/actions behind this attempt to keep names from the public.

  9. mikkimoose says

    the Daily Mail seem to be retro-moderating their comments too (at least the ones which name them, the other 278 calling for blood survive just find)…..

  10. Manic says

    They deserve a slap for letting the names through moderation in the first place.They seem awfully keen to protect themselves with stringent moderation. Others, not so much.

  11. mikkimoose says

    hmmph.A bit more googling reveals her profile on another site, which found its first of seven "Dirty Cunt! Rot In Prison!" (or variations on that theme) comment 9 hours ago.Not sure if they've all independently joined up the dots, but it does say she had four children, which perhaps explains the injunction. There's also a handy photo.

  12. mikkimoose says

    ah, people's stupidity knows no bounds. One of her cyberfriends now has hate mesages on multiple social networking sites, despite the fact that he lives 200 miles away and clearly has never met her.

  13. Manic says

    "ah, people's stupidity knows no bounds."Just the kind of thing I was afraid of. Some people will lash out at anyone or anything over a tragedy like this:https://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2008/09/matt…BTW, that 'blogger' who should know better has allowed someone to publish a link to one of the old articles you mention on his website. I tried to warn the sod, but he deleted my comment and not the URL.

  14. Manic says

    The URL has now (finally) been deleted, and the 'blogger' is now blaming the publisher of the archived article. It's all their fault, apparently.

  15. mikkimoose says

    You're fighting a losing battle. One of the numerous Facebook groups has acquired 15,369 new members in the last 24 hours, and of course people are 'naming and shaming'.One supposedly 'satirical' site seems to have taken a day off from satire and has instead posted photos of all three accused, along with information from her Friends Reunited site with details of the fact that she is divorced, and unattributable quotes such as "she laughed as she witnessed Baby P's back being broken by her boyfriend".Though having said that, the ability of journalists and politicians to report facts accurately is amazingly shoddy – the Facebook posts claiming 'she had a baby in prison yesterday' are one thing, but The Guardian and David Cameron both insist that she is 17 when she is in fact 27.

  16. Manic says

    "You're fighting a losing battle."I fear you're right by this stage.Meanwhile, there's this:http://www.septicisle.info/2008/11/nick-davies-ge

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