And so the identity of the un-named premiership footballer, and possibly football’s worst kept secret since someone suggested the voting process for the 2018 FIFA World Cup might be slightly dodgy, has finally made it onto the front pages of today’s papers.
Whilst the media and the twittersphere remain all-a-flutter, one really does wonder what to make of it all. Will ‘Mrs un-named premiership footballer’ ensure that her alleged straying husband is duly punished and firmly camped-out on the sofa for a suitably long period, and will a somewhat draconian Scottish football manager allow such a punishment, given how an athlete needs his sleep if he is to perform to his best at the weekend?
Will Mr Hemming’s invite to the Champion’s League final be revoked? And what can Attorney General Dominic Grieve and a Government committee do to amend legislation to stem the tide of Internet-borne rage against super-injunction culture?
Probably not a lot – although I wouldn’t bet against the draconian Scottish football manager.
The internet is about immediacy, about the sharing of information and ideas, and was conceived to remain operational in the event of a nuclear apocalypse. Super injunctions on the other hand, seem symptomatic of today’s celebrity culture, a legal mechanism designed to protect the rich and famous rather than the moral right to privacy.
Granted, libel and privacy laws need to be revised, as anonymity via the Internet should not provide a simple yet effective mask for those looking to flout the law, and impinge on an individual’s right to privacy. Indeed, there is widespread agreement among top PR operators that the stand-off between courts and the media cannot continue.
At the same time, it seems unlikely that legislation can ever keep pace with the fluidity of Internet communications and digital publishing.
At the end of the day, it’s a funny old game.