The High Court of London granted an injunction to stop an anonymous tweeter posting negative comments about Thomas Cook UK. The travel company believed that the source is a disgruntled employee because the tweeter using the handle @TCXrated, was posting internal company memos and allegations about Thomas Cook’s business position.
The person responsible for the tweets was warned by the court that they could face jail time if they do not end the campaign against Thomas Cook. The court granted an order that will force Twitter to reveal the name and address of the account holder. They will use this information to demand the tweeter stop making disparaging remarks about Thomas Cook.
It seems more and more that business will fight back when employees (or suspected) employees take to the web to air grievances. I’m sure we all remember the American Airlines vs Gailen David aka TheSkySteward – which was recently settled by the parties – in which American Airlines claimed David was posting confidential company information on his blog. American Airlines amended claim against Gailen David
included claims against David for Trade Infringement, Conspiracy, and Misappropriation of Trade Secrets. According to papers filed by the Tarrant County District Court, the settlement forces David to stop posting “Confidential, Proprietary or Trade Secret Information of American, AMR Corp., or American Eagle Airlines, Inc, which includes financial information, business operations, board members’ information, employees’ information and travel data”
It would appear that Thomas Cook UK has taken the same approach in the UK courts claiming that the “unsavory posts contain confidential internal trade information…giving us (Cook) reason to suspect that @TCXrated is an employee thus acting in breach of contract of employment. The damage is ongoing and continues to damage Thomas Cook while revealing confidential commercial materials.”
As of this posting, Twitter has suspended @TCXrated’s account but the topic of his/her posts certainly has remained a hot topic on Twitter.
What will happen next? Stay tuned.