Legal action overTwitter satire account dropped

Northcliffe Media withdraws legal action over spoof @UnSteveDorkland account

Northcliffe Media, the newspaper publisher owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust has withdrawn legal action against a spoof twitter account.

The publisher had filed a subpoena compelling Twitter in the US this week to have the micro-blogging site reveal the identity of the person behind the @UnSteveDorkland account. The account in question had been spoofing its chief executive Steve Auckland.

According to the Guardian, lawyers for the still-anonymous Twitter user filed legal papers in San Francisco on Tuesday calling for Northcliffe's subpoena to be quashed. The paper said the lawyers for @UnSteveDorkland argued in a 20-page legal document that "The underlying identities of anonymous critics of powerful and public figures have a long and constitutionally-protected history in America."

The anonymous account holder hailed the decision on his twitterfeed saying, "Breaking: lawyers for Daily Mail regional arm Northcliffe Media have just voluntarily dismissed their case against me. We won."

A Northcliffe Media spokesperson said: “Since the beginning of this case, Northcliffe Media has been clear that its approach to Twitter was not about freedom of speech, but about a barrage of anonymous tweets that amounted to cyber-bullying and harassment.

“We believed 700 tweets in four weeks indicated a disturbing obsession on the part of the anonymous writer."

Source: Guardian