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Saturday, 20 November 2010

NSFW: Play Hangman Twitter

In the afternoon of the Halloween, a New York based blogger detected a group children lined up on the side road, throwing rocks and eggs in passing cars. After calling 911, it left home and wanted to children on Facebook, adding that "friends". True enough, before long the (alleged) rogue lowercase were boasting about their crimes in the updates of the State, which the blogger shared with the world.

Two days ago another blogger - this time a woman who works at a major Internet - company was (reportedly, this word is very important) sexually assaulted a Conference by a man who works in another company Internet .Encore once, the (alleged) victim contacted the police, but even she then turned towards social name media and ashamed of his assailant (always presumed).

In both cases, the Internet response was rapid - with bloggers and the Twitterers Facebookers leaping in to republish the allegations and to demand justice be done.

Welcome to today's cyber vigilantism.

Of course, I - as most of the right thinking people - am shocked when I read comments, suggesting that the victim of an alleged assault may have invented or exaggerated the incident. There is a special circle of Hell reserved for those who, without evidence or legal conclusions, that someone could invent a sexual assault. They are the reason why so many sexual crimes go non-declared.

And yet this same circle has also put in another group of people: those who assume that everyone is accused of a crime is guilty.

One of the things that surprised me on American popular culture is a British, Nancy Grace.I mean, it is clear that Grace itself amazes me - just, wow - but more than this, the first time I saw the show, I couldn't believe my eyes and ears. Here was a woman, to non-prime-time television less openly discuss during criminal trials, but that the accused is innocent or coupable.Sainte shit, I thought.

Return to the United Kingdom (and one could say in any right society) Nancy Grace would be in prison.Media are simply not allowed to opine on the guilt or innocence of the case are still sub justice (after an arrest is made). To do this, is considered contempt. Similarly, journalists are not allowed to report or republish or same reblog, others doing semblables.Il claims exist loopholes, of course, once the case went to trial (statements before the Court can be declared as they are clearly identified as claims), but basically the principle of innocent until proven guilty in the Court of justice is considered sacrosanct.

Today, however, even the United Kingdom this principle is rapidly rendered meaningless.Thanks to social media, anyone can publish the name of a person accused of a serious crime until they were even arrested (which is used for the first time an allegation has been reported), let alone appeared before the Tribunal.

And when this name occurs, the case is over before it is begun: that the accused is guilty or innocent, they are given in perpetuity .jusqu ' on the day they die, whenever a prospective employer or a new friend protection their name - will come from the allegation.And, despite this prison sentences, this claim is the same sentence that guilt - a life as unemployable, unfriendable outcast.Il there's a reason why the Internet is a great way to ruin someone with false allegations - and this is the reason why the falsely accused people are just as likely to harm themselves as the guilty persons.

Of course, it is quite possible that in a given case, the accused prove to be coupable.Ils are very often.And in these cases, it is difficult to argue that the victim did anything wrong naming their attacker - especially if doing so encourages others to come.Certainly after a conviction was established in a Court of justice, it is the season on the author, both online and traditional media: such is the price of the crime.

But meanwhile, for the attention of the fortunately little people falsely accused (by accident or design) crimes they committed, certainly it is beholden on each of us to resist our momentum to repeat claims potentially ruining lives up to what the law was allowed to run its course.

Which brings me neatly a quick PostScript backstage.

Some readers has noted that TechCrunch is one of the publications covering the history of the alleged sexual assault, shortly after it was brisé.Par subsequently, the post has disappeared from the site, leading to slightly comical accusations that our new business owners had demanded that Mike Arrington make history (funny because I'm not entirely convinced person at AOL reads TechCrunch).

In fact what has happened is that, for the reasons above, Mike decided that there was reason to delete the post - and Alexia, mail, in agreement with his jugement.Mike author has written before on how our community is better without us to report on unproven allegations of personal, no matter how juicy story .Suppression position is consistent with this policy.

If I am disappointed that the story appeared on TechCrunch first? no no doute.Mais at the same time, I know that journalists here are under enormous pressure does step missing stories, and it is impossible to do things every better fois.Au hopefully episodes like this everyone paused a little more in the future before the display of things that can ruin lives.

More than anything, however, I am proud to write for a publication that strongly stands his ground when he knows that he is fair, but it is courageous enough doing the right thing when it knows that it is not.

(Update: I disabled comments on this post, on the grounds that it would be hypocritical to say that there should be no discussion of pending cases and readers then a forum for doing precisely.)


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