Facebook Status Frees a Man from Prison


I have a facebook addiction. I hate it sometimes. I also have a lot of complaints about facebook as most of you know. I hate the censorship most of all. I’ve had so many pictures deleted without notice or explanation. So, as most of you know I created my own social network called Novaboon. It’s unrestricted and open for everyone to post almost anything. Facebook does have some good points and bad depending which side you are on.

Through the years we’ve all read or heard horror stories about MySpace and facebook leading to stalking, rape, and even murder. These horrible situations have resulted in the ease in which information availability and the freedom for predators to give misinformation to commit these terrible crimes.

In the past few years, online blogs, status updates, emails and anything said online can be used as evidence in the court of law. This has mostly worked against people but not always. It can also be used to help people. Here’s a recent story to demonstrate this.

A 19-year old named Rodney Bradford spent almost 2 weeks in jail at Riker’s Island, New York City the end of last year. He was accused of a participant of a 2-man gun point mugging in Brooklyn.

He happened to be facing a robbery indictment from 2008 and he heard that the police were looking for him so he turned himself in confident he would be cleared because he was in Harlem at his father’s house the time of the mugging. He was wrong at first when one of the 2 victims picked Rodney out of a line up. He was charged with robbery in the 1st degree.

It turned out that Rodney had a solid alibi; his facebook status update. The time and location of his update proved that he could not have been at the scene of the robber when it occurred.

What was amazing is how cooperative facebook was with releasing all details of the update: time, location etc. when subpoenaed for the information.

Facebook officials said they are “pleased they were able to serve as a constructive part of the judicial process.”

“We’re in a much more trackable world, and for better and for worse,” said attorney Jonathan Handel. “The extent to which it means that the right people get prosecuted and the innocent get their cases dropped, that’s all of the good.”

Mr Handel also mentioned that the issue of privacy is also at stake.

This story made me happy at first that facebook was helpful in freeing an innocent man. I read the lawyer’s mention of privacy and it made me concerned.

Facebook can take any information of any member at any time and use it for any purpose. Just by signing up we give them the right. It doesn’t matter how private a member makes his or her profile, facebook seems to own a member the minute he or she clicks “I read and accept the terms and conditions.”

Facebook owns you and me. Be careful what you post but then again keep posting because it might save your life.

Reference- cnn.com

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