Justice for Facebook

I’ve just spent some time on Jury Service. Two days in court makes me an expert on the legal system so now I can have a view.

wig I’ve just spent some time on Jury Service. Two days in court makes me an expert on the legal system so now I can have a view.

Of course I won’t say anything about the case I was on, but just being in court gave me an interesting view of how the legal system sees facebook: It’s evil.

Post anything and you are giving away your secrets. The court system is a very secretive environment, you wouldn’t catch anyone there – the jury managers, judges, barristers, solicitors or clerks, getting anywhere near the Facebook average of half an hour online every day.

To them Facebook is how people get caught, it’s something the criminals do and they can’t understand why innocent people might enjoy sharing their secrets. You can understand how, if you work in the legal system you don’t want much of a digital footprint. You get a skewed view of how honest the world is when many of the people you meet are criminals. I know one criminal As jurors we were told not to post anything on the case on “Facebook” or any other internet sites, in a way that made the people talking sound like the judge from the Not The Nine O’Clock News who didn’t know what a digital watch or a video recorder was. The thought that a significant proportion of the UK population uses Facebook for more than half an hour a day was alien to anyone outside of the dock or jury. The legislature has deliberately avoided the social networks, and with good reason. If you’ve failed to keep a criminal out of prison or put a criminal there you don’t really want the criminal’s associates to be able to find out who your friends and families are. Try it: as an experiment go and look up the names of some judges and barristers in newspaper stories and then search for them on Facebook. They won’t be there. It means that the people running the trial don’t appreciate the significance of what ordinary people do on Facebook. The concept of Fraping is completely alien, the idea that you might be a “friend” of someone you’ve never actually met similarly so. When I was learning to be a journalist we were taught that subs should watch the rubbish soap operas and immerse themselves in every day culture and make sure that the copy reflected the life the readers lived. Today it would mean knowing who David Gueyya and Emeli Sandé were, perhaps such advice should also be given to those in a wig and gown.

Simon Blogs about easy to use phones at Fuss Free Phones