The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has ruled that tweets are not private and can be published in newspapers and on websites.

The ruling follows a complaint by Department of Transport worker, Sarah who used micro-blogging service Twitter in November to express her opinion on the Coalition government's cuts and even label a training instructor as 'mental'.

The tweets were subsequently published by the Daily Mail and The Independent, which lead Baskerville to approach the PCC claiming the content she posted was private and should not have been re-published.

However, the PCC decided in this case, In this case, the "republication of material by national newspapers, even though it was originally intended for a smaller audience, did not constitute a privacy intrusion" and the publicly accessible nature of the information was a "key consideration".

"It was quite clear that the potential audience for the information was actually much larger than the 700 people who followed the complainant directly, not least because any message could easily be retweeted to a wider audience," the PCC said.

"This is an important ruling by the commission. As more and more people make use of such social media to publish material related to their lives, the commission is increasingly being asked to make judgments about what can legitimately be described as private information," added PCC director Stephen Abell.

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