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File photo. Wikimedia Commons via Creative Commons

UK Press Commission makes first ruling involving Twitter material

Woman’s complaints that newspaper stories featuring her Tweets had invaded her privacy were not upheld by the UK’s Press Complaints Commission.

THE UK’S PRESS COMPLAINTS COMMISSION (PCC) has refused to uphold a complaint made by a woman against two newspapers which printed some of her Tweets.

The PCC said that this was “the first time it had considered a complaint about the republication of information originating from Twitter”.

Sarah Baskerville complained of privacy intrusion over the Independent on Sunday and the Daily Mail’s use of some of her Tweets.

The Daily Mail claimed Baskerville, a civil servant, was inappropriately tweeting aspects of her job and denied invading her privacy.

The story was then followed up by the Independent on Sunday, which included a photo of Baskerville taken from her Flickr page and comments from her blog.

The PCC said in its ruling that it recognised the Daily Mail had caused regrettable distress, it did not consider the material used by the two papers was an unjustifiable intrusion into her privacy. Although the woman’s account had 700 followers, her messages could have been read publicly, meaning the potential audience was far wider.

It said that the additional material used by the Independent on Sunday was not of an intimate nature and did not breach its code on privacy.

The Commission also said it did not consider the articles were misleading or distorted.

Read the PCC’s decision with regard to the Daily Mail in full >

Read the PCC’s decision regarding the Independent on Sunday in full >