Social Media Strikes Again: Teens Charged With Making OnlineThreats Against Steubenville Rape Victim

There is no doubt that Social Media played an important role in the Steubenville Rape Case.   In fact, the prosecution would have had a significantly weaker case had it not been for the several tweets, videos, and pictures exchanged among students regarding the events that occurred.  It is disgraceful that young students would commit such a horrific act, and then brag about it through social networking sites.  It is even more troublesome, that the numerous students who viewed these tweets, pictures, and video did not report the incident.  Many would hope that young students would learn from this incident and the implications Social Networking Sites may have if used irresponsibly.  However, that is not that case for two teenage girls who used Social Media to threaten the young victim in the Steubenville Rape Case following the verdict.  A 16-year-old girl is charged with aggravated menacing after using Twitter to threaten the life of the victim, and a 15-year-old girl is charged with one count of menacing after making a threat on Facebook.

What will it take for young students to realize that their actions on Social Media sites have real life consequences?

Facebook Does Not “Like” Being Sued

Facebook is being sued, yet again.  A Dutch company, Rembrandt Social Media, filed a suit on Febrauary  4, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia claiming that  Facebook’s “Like” button and other features infringe on patents. Mr. Van Der Meer, a computer scientist, began working on his website “Surfbook” before his death in 2004.  In 1998, Mr Van Der Meer was granted the patents.  This was 5 years before Facebook appeared.

Is this the beginning of the end to Facebook’s “Like” button?

Doctors and Judges: Who Can They Friend On Facebook?

Some doctors use social media to discuss health topics, while other doctors use their Facebook or twitters as a tool to become more available to their patients.  Doctors who accept friend requests from patients may face concerns such as protecting patient privacy and maintaining appropriate boundaries between professional and social relationships.  At first glance, one may believe that there is no harm in doctors and patients being Facebook friends, however, as the article notes, this could violate HIPPA laws.

Judges face similar challenges when they choose to accept friend requests from prosecutors or defense lawyers who appear before them. In Florida, the court may soon clarify the parameters that judges and lawyers must abide by in regards to social media interaction. A Broward criminal case could set the stage for state law that will dictate who a judge can “friend” on Facebook.   This case arose after a defense attorney filed a motion to disqualify a judge because he was friends on Facebook with the assistant state attorney.

Would you feel comfortable friend requesting your doctor?


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