Just earlier we reported on the New York judge ruling that tweets could be used in court, but now it seems that influence has come over to our side of the Atlantic with the recent news of Twitter users allegedly naming the rape victim of Sheffield United footballer Ched Evans.
According to The Guardian, North Wales police will be making a series of arrests on users of the microblogging service involved in the incident - as well as investigate Sky News for broadcasting her name during one of the bulletins. Her name appeared in a Twitter feed during the Sky News report, following Ched Evan's conviction for rape.
"North Wales police will seek to ensure that the legal anonymity of victims in rape cases under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992, is protected and those who commit offences in this regard will be brought before the criminal justice system," stated assistant chief constable Gareth Pritchard. "We wish to reassure victims of serious sexual offences of our continuing determination to support them."
Sky has since apologised for displaying the victim's name, which apparently only appeared on the screen for a mere second.
"In our coverage last night we very briefly revealed the victim's name despite heavy redaction, and if watching in real-time viewers would not have noticed," said a Sky News spokeswoman said. "We would, however, like to apologise to the victim and her family for any distress caused."
Footballers and Twitter aren't the best of combinations, following the arrest of Liam Stacey for posting malicious tweets about Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba. Despite Twitter acting as a public domain for freedom of speech amongst its users, stricter guidelines need to be put in place to distinguish what exactly is freedom of 'tweets'.