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19:30

Internet destroys Fred Goodwin’s “affair” super-injunction

I’ve written before about superinjunctions, the difficulties of bloggers learning about reporting restrictions, and the problems the internet causes for super-injunctions.

This morning, however, has seen a deliberate attempt by some people to use the internet to reveal the alleged affair that the super-injunction about disgraced RBS boss Fred Goodwin supposedly covers.

Newspapers reported on the existence of this super-injunction this week, when Parliamentary Privelege was used to reveal that it forbade identifying Goodwin as a banker.

On the face of it this made no sense – he’s obviously a banker and no online papers have removed old articles saying this.

So the superinjunction must have covered something else. And some people are claiming he had an affair. How do I know this? Because if you type “Fred Goodwin affair” into Google, you see results about that – including a wikipedia result that says “The super-injunction also prevents reporting of Fred Goodwin’s affair with a colleague, which began shortly before and continued during the credit crunch …” (See the original of this post for screenshots.)

As ever, if the super-injunction is dealing with an alleged affair, no one has told Google about it.

This story on Guide Fawkes’s blog also deliberately all-but-identifies Goodwin (and the comments on the post make this explicit – I don’t know whether he moderates them or not).

There is also a comment on the Independent website under the story about Fred Goodwin’s super-injunction that alludes to the alleged affair (again, I don’t know if the Indy moderates these):

The Mail removed its own story that predated the super-injunction about an unnamed banker but, as is pointed out here, that story is still live on its mobile site.

Similar speculation is also rife on Twitter as Jon Slattery points out.

If the superinjunction is in place to stop publication of an alleged affair, it is finished. The claims are out in the open – in Google, on social media sites, on newspaper sites, on Wikipedia and on popular blogs (there are more than I’ve listed here).

Presumably the tabloids’ lawyers are applying for the super-injunction to be overturned now if it is about this.

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