IF you locked an infinite number of chimps in an infinitely large lab with an iPad each, you very well might end up with the complete works of Shakespeare.

At least, that’s the theory.

The nearest we have in 2015 is Twitter, and while though the comparison with our ape cousins is perhaps a little unfair, the medium does provide a fascinating insight into the human condition.

For years, the Twittersphere has been a bizarre - but refreshing - free-for-all.

The social media revolution in the late noughties broke the shackles of the restrained public voice, pig sick of being spoonfed its thoughts by Global Super Mega Media Corp, and the like.

I’m also convinced that with greater historical distance, the rise of Twitter and Facebook will be attributed by academics as the single greatest spark for phenomena like the Arab Spring and the London riots.

It changes the way we express ourselves, the way we think and in many ways, the way we learn.

And so the Twitter explosion was supposed to be the freeing of ideas, the democratisation of news, opinion and media content.

And so the online Arcadia continues idyllically until it gets in the way of those pesky barriers called laws.

In the States, the latest piece of legislation to come face-to-face with the Twitter bird is that of copyright.

A blogger claims that TV comic Conan O'Brien stole several of his jokes from Twitter to use on his self-titled show, with a lawsuit ensuing.

The allegation is these gags were simply lifted almost word-for-word – a direct breach of copyright and for which there is no real defence by the letter of the law (not in this country anyway).

Not only that, but (in the US again) tweeters have started asserting their legal rights over copyright of their ‘work’, with Twitter opening up a process for users to complain if others have copied their posts.

And so the result is reams of titillating 140-character musings posted as original but taken from another source are appearing on news feeds as ‘This tweet has been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder.’

Far less amusing, I’m sure you’ll agree, but nevertheless the prerogative of the author.

If this sort of thing becomes widespread, it will alter the very foundation media like Twitter is built upon.

Social media is built on sharing – it’s the cornerstone of sites like Facebook and among the most praised elements of our brace new online social world.

But the realm of Facebook and Twitter cannot exist in its own hermetically sealed environment away from the realities of laws and regulations – as the ‘jokegate’ incident proves perfectly.

Let’s face it, most tweeters and Facebookers think they can write pretty much whatever they like, and go on blissfully unaware of the defamation, copyright and contempt laws they could be contravening.

In fact, south Bucks MP Dominic Grieve issued a stark warning during his time as attorney general of the risks bloggers and social media users are taking by passing judgement on current legal proceedings.

Journalists train for years to perfect their media law knowledge, and until relatively recently were trusted as the sole arbiters of news content – albeit by default through the media’s erstwhile monopoly.

And I for one would never like to see the technicolour of opinions aired on social media being stifled. There’s a desire for news like never before, and that is ultimately a positive thing.

But I fear a point – like this week’s Twitter scandal showed – where social media might just come back to bite itself once its summer-of-love heyday is over, and when the shackles of control are quietly snapped onto users’ ankles.

But the truth is with the appetite for sharing we have as a society in 2015, there will be an awful lot of apes posting an awful lot of stuff for years to come – so we might just get that folio after all.