Sarah Baskerville is a civil servant who works for the Department of Transport in London.

Back in November, there was a minor storm in a teacup when the Daily Mail caught Sarah caught posting the shocking revelation to Twitter that she ‘Had a hangover’ whilst at work. In addition, she occasionally had the temerity to dare to question Government policy.

Unless you are a Daily Mail reader, none of this is very newsworthy. I suspect the vast majority of people with a Twitter account have posted inane drivel along the lines of ‘At work. Hungover. Need coffee’.

It’s clear from reading her blog that Sarah Baskerville is an intelligent, educated, experienced lady who cares about her job and is passionate about improving things. Why - she even gave up her own time on a Sunday to attend a work related conference so I certainly don’t begrudge her tweeting from her workplace. There, but for the grace of God, and all that.

Nor do I really care that she dares to criticise Government policy - I’d rather that than some mindless, faceless drone implementing Government policy unquestioningly - or that she admits she is looking forward to going home after a hard day. Who doesn’t ?

What I find interesting about this story is the fact that Sarah Baskerville then proceeded to lodge two complaints with the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) about the Independent on Sunday’s (not the Daily Mail) subsequent coverage of a small selection of Sarah’s postings on Twitter.

In her complaint, Baskerville claimed that she had a ‘reasonable expectation that my [Twitter] messages…would be published only to my followers’.

As someone active in multiple social networks (Baskerville’s Web site portal lists a total of 20 social networks), it is simply inconceivable that she didn’t know how the Twitter service worked and a Tweet was immediately posted and visible on a public Web site on the Internet.

Baskerville has even written an excellent article about the use of social netwoking tools in Government and how they could be used to engage more openly with the public so she clearly understands how Twitter et al function and how these services disseminate information quickly to a wide audience.

Sarah Baskerville isn’t some 16 year old school leaver working in Greggs bakery posting on Facebook that ‘Mr. Grimsdyke told me off for being late again. I hate that man’ and then being surprised when she subsequently receives a complimentary ‘steak bake’ together with her P45.

If Sarah Baskerville truly wanted her messages to be visible to her Followers, she could have easily have achieved this using a private Twitter feed but I suspect she simply didn’t bother because she thought no-one was listening.

Of course, not many people click through to read the small print when they rush over to sign up on Twitter to follow Jonathan Ross. However, maybe Sarah should take time to read the full version of the Twitter Terms of Service

The Content you submit, post, or display will be able to be viewed by other users of the Services and through third party services and websites (go to the > account settings page to control who sees your Content).

The same warning is even summarised in a top tip - ‘What you say on Twitter may be viewed all around the world instantly’ which, for most people, is exactly the point.

I suspect Sarah Baskerville was fully aware of this possibility but didn’t bother as she freely admits she simply didn’t expect to be ’targeted’ (her words) by the Daily Mail and subsequently by the Independent on Sunday.

The original news story broke in November and it appears Sarah Baskerville still has her job and I sincerely hope she doesn’t get dismissed over this episode.

Yesterday, the PCC rejected both of Baskerville’s complaints agreeing with the Independent’s damning assertion:

The complainant was not, said the newspaper, “someone who for some reason was able to use the technology but unable to realise the consequences of making her life so public.

However, I also suspect Sarah Baskerville lodged her complaint with the PCC in order to prolong her 15 minutes of fame, thinking that she was striking a hammer blow for freedom on behalf of all individual bloggers and workplace tweeters everywhere. Winning her case would result in media coverage, worldwide gratitude and acclaim and somehow make a name for herself.

She certainly succeeded in doing that. The name is ‘idiot’.