Sony has had a rough couple of weeks. The company has spent weeks battling an intellectual property and public relations nightmare after hackers released tons of internal documents including private emails, personnel records, scripts, and even complete unreleased movies. Now it looks like Sony is ready to let off some steam by taking out its frustrations on the internet. While one branch of the company was hard at work filing a takedown request against Shane Dawson’s latest Taylor Swift parody, Sony Pictures Entertainment was busy threatening Twitter with a lawsuit.
As Motherboard first reported, Sony has promised to file a lawsuit against Twitter if the social network doesn’t crack down on users who link to the leaked documents. Sony insists that users sharing private emails and other documents released by the hackers be banned from Twitter, a step that Twitter has obviously been reluctant to take. The leaked files have already been widely referenced by many Twitter users including prominent journalists and media personalities over the last two weeks — banning everyone who has participated would be a herculean task that did little but damage Twitter’s free speech credentials.
The move practically screams desperation on the part of Sony. The company has already tried and failed to intimidate the media into ignoring the leaks. Despite threats of legal action and appeals to journalistic ethics (the latter of which is debatable at best), a host of blogs and media outlets have been combing through nearly 14 years worth of leaked documents and reporting on what they find. At this stage, applying a universal gag rule on Twitter would do little to slow the flow of proprietary information and embarrassing missives.
It’s hard to blame Sony for wanting to suppress what has been an ongoing avalanche of embarrassment. However, picking two fights with the internet in the same week may only serve to draw more attention to the embattled studio and its many issues.