It turns out those hours of class time spent messing around on Facebook (R.I.P. Scrabulous) may actually help you do your job. In the last few weeks I’ve read two articles about Facebook evidence being used by prosecutors during sentencing.
Both cases involved drunk driving accidents. Pictures of the defendants partying and talking about drinking surfaced on Facebook soon after the accidents.
In one case the defendant wrote that she was feeling “breezy” in a Facebook status message. In another, the defendant dressed up for Halloween party in a black and white shirt and orange jumpsuit labeled “Jail Bird.” In both cases, the prosecutors used the Facebook evidence to show that the defendants were not remorseful and deserved longer sentences.
I’ve written before about the importance of watching what you put on Facebook. While I don’t think anybody would argue that the defendants in the two cases discussed above didn’t get what they deserved, some are concerned about the privacy implications of using social networking information to prosecute lesser crimes.
As Facebook continues to add features and our lives are increasingly documented on the internet, the importance of controlling your internet identity is becoming more important. Like I said, its not just for kids any more.