The BBC reports that South Tyneside Council is taking Twitter to court in the US to force them to reveal the identity of blogger Mr Monkey. It isn’t clear to me why Twitter should be the one facing the action, since the blogger in question (who has had at least two ‘incarnations‘) is hosted by WordPress.com but no doubt it makes sense to someone.
Mr Monkey has devoted himself to exposing what he sees as corruption in the corridors of power of his local authority, which is perfectly laudable of course. However, the blog trumpets itself as “South Tyneside’s Premier Blog” and I’ve got to admit that I’m suspicious of any blogger that goes in for that sort of self-aggrandizing claim. Secondly, a quick look at the blog reveals that he has not been above making mocking comments about the mental health of one of his targetted councillors — always unacceptable in my book.
I don’t know enough about the situation to have a worthwhile opinion about the litigation. But it does remind us that bloggers have responsibilities and need to be prepared to be held accountable.
Update: The plot thickens. Turns out that the blogger is himself a councillor.