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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Liking While Intoxicated.

Evesham, N.J. police have discovered what others have already known about Facebook: It’s a great place to shame someone! They’re posting mugshots for all to see, but the problem is it disregards the dynamic of the web. There is no more *local* anything. Once it’s out there, it’s out there for the whole world to see. I have no problem with mugshots of escaped fugitives. But the gray area is the person charged without having had the benefit of legal protection, let alone a trial.

As MediaPost points out: “A fugitive at large could inflict further harm on the public, and in my view this outweighs any concern over damage to his or her reputation if he/she should happen to be innocent.”

While I agree in theory, would innocent people by definition be inflicting harm on the public? That would make them... guilty. Otherwise, the slippery slope logic at work with this policy says better that one person be falsely accused than a guilty one be free. Once convicted? Then hell yeah, post away. For now though, our legal system is based the presumption that you’re innocent until proven guilty, much as bloggers and the court of public opinion would disagree.

Why? Because one day that might be you up there falsely accused. Cool for Snooki and celebrities used to the cameras since it just adds a little more street cred to their IMDB. Everyday citizens with a mortgage though, not so much.

(Tip: Tico.)

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