The debacle over super-injunctions and ‘
An Un-named Premiership Footballer‘ Ryan Giggs’ misdemeanours has raised interesting questions about truth and privacy in the age of social networks.
The super-injunction dissolved because Giggs’ name got so widely spread via Twitter, and by a newspaper outside of English jurisdiction. But are we the better for it?
We might be, but I think the key question here is if the ‘whole truth’ is always desirable. I’ve written here before about my concerns over the desperate search for objective truth – especially in relation to theology. While I consider objective truth to exist, I don’t believe we can ever have access to it, because we can never know the full story.
This is my concern over the use of Twitter to ‘expose the truth.’ What truth exactly is it exposing? What seems clear is that the truth Twitter and the tabloid press has been after has simply been the tawdry facts of a footballer and a 2-bit reality TV ‘star.’ What these media are not interested in is the context, and the potential stories behind the story. The whole truth, in other words.
The same principle might be applied to Wikileaks: it is better to have everything out in the open? Is that always the most sensitive thing to do? My worry is that people may think that they are getting the whole truth, but this is simply not possible, so what appears to be a great exposure of the truth of a situation will still leave things untold.
Given that we must accept that this ‘whole truth’ is going to be inaccessible to us, what should we do? Should we accept super-injunctions without question? No. Definitely not. Because it seems in some cases they are being used as a tool for the powerful to suppress information that there is genuine public interest in knowing. But should we accept the media’s position of unlimited exposure? Definitely not too. The motivations behind a lot of these ‘soldiers for clarity and freedom of the press’ are often monetary, and less than savoury.
I very much doubt whether those who have casually tweeted names have given serious thought to the wider and deeper stories that might be going on behind the scenes, and that has played into the hands of the money-grubbers at The Sun, who simply want to make money from salacious public frenzy.
Dirty business, all of it.