Equity firm partner goes to court over ‘impersonation’ Twitter account

Businessman says a false Twitter account is being used to smear his reputation

Mr Rattle, who does not have a Twitter account or online presence, claims the  the account profile describes the user  as being ‘Nationalist’, ‘Pro-Brexit and ‘Anti-immigration’.

Mr Rattle, who does not have a Twitter account or online presence, claims the the account profile describes the user as being ‘Nationalist’, ‘Pro-Brexit and ‘Anti-immigration’.

 

The managing partner of a London-based private equity firm has launched High Court proceedings in Dublin over a Twitter account which he claims is being used to smear his reputation.

Philip Rattle, of August Equity LLP, claims he and his family have been upset by posts on a Twitter account set up in his name which he has nothing to do with.

Mr Rattle, who does not have a Twitter account or online presence, claims the tweets are deliberately targeted towards maligning him and causing serious damage to his reputation.

He claims the Twitter account using his name, which appears to have been established using an outlook.com email address, was set up in September 2018 and was brought to his attention last December.

Highly offensive

He claims the account profile describes the user as running a firm investing hundreds of millions of pounds in various UK sectors, as well as being “nationalist”, “pro-Brexit” and “anti-immigration”.

Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds granted permission to serve short notice of the proceedings on Microsoft Ireland Operations Ltd, which provides the outlook.com email service, and Twitter International Company, and returned the matter to after the court’s Easter vacation.

Mr Rattle followed the “impersonation Twitter account” and claims it has published a number of highly offensive and distressing tweets which are defamatory.

The posts include derogatory and racist comments about individuals in British public life such as London mayor Sadiq Khan and Manchester City soccer star Raheem Sterling.

One tweet praises a man who allegedly racially abused a woman on a Ryanair flight last year.

Mr Rattle says he was shocked, highly distressed and upset by the posts, and alleges the account is clearly designed to make any reader believe he is racist, anti-Semitic and a bigot.

Reputation

The account has seriously damaged his reputation and privacy and is part of a smear campaign against him, he claims.

As part of that alleged smear campaign, Mr Rattle claims he and several investors with his firm have received messages, correspondence and packages containing false allegations about him and August Equity.

As a result, he has had CCTV installed at his London home.

He fears the smear campaign will continue unless steps are taken to restrain the alleged wrongdoers and wants information from Twitter and Microsoft, including details about the persons behind the accounts.

Mr Rattle, represented in court on Friday by Niall Buckley BL, is seeking an order, known as a Norwich Pharmacal order, requiring he be provided with information, including the name and address of the person or persons behind the account.

The information sought is only provided by social media companies on foot of court orders, the judge noted.