The identification at the weekend by the Sunday Herald newspaper of footballer, Ryan Giggs, as suspected of being at the centre of a media gagging order, despite his name being freely banded on the internet, has resulted in various record website visits.
Although neither the story nor Giggs' name appeared on heraldscotland.com – since it could have been read in England, where the gagging order was applicable (but not in Scotland) – it is understood the website received more than a million hits on Sunday and almost two million the day after.
Editor, Richard Walker, is quoted on holdthefrontpage, as saying: “These statistics underline the irony of us revealing the identity of Ryan Giggs in print only, when this was essentially a story about media coverage online.
“We couldn’t name him on heraldscotland for legal reasons, but there was already huge awareness of the story online, and we argued that this made the super injunction untenable. The volume of traffic to our website confirms the urgent need for a debate on the balance between privacy and public interest in the new media age.”
And during holdthefrontpage's own 11-year history, no story had attracted as many page views as the Sunday Herald one: some 11,050 page views on Monday.
Ditto, allmediascotland.com: a record 12,209. And The Drum media and marketing magazine: 78,000.