Help for Topics and Research

Hello all:

As I was figuring out what I wanted my own topic to be I came across these two websites that I wanted to share. First I would check out this website, it has helpful tabs, one of them being hot topics in social media if you are really coming up short on a topic idea. That site can be found here.

Then I would check out this website, It is a list of 320 cases from the first half of 2012 where social media evidence was used in a major way for the case (includes cases of de minimis reference to employee termination to child custody, to identifying assailants). Too bad it wasn’t updated to include all of 2012, but still, with over 300 cases to reference there should be some current cases on any topic you may choose.

Hope these are helpful for everyone in their journey to writing a pristine paper on social media!!!

Kids’ Facebook “depression”

I don’t know if I should laugh at this article as ridiculous or be shocked and paranoid for the future of America.  The article discusses the responsibility of doctors to discuss the facebook effect with their patients.  Has social media infiltrated society so much that a discussion regarding its influence will now be included along with an eye exam and height measurement?  What does this say about us?



7th Circuit Strikes Down Sex Offender Ban on Social Media

The  7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that an Indiana Law prohibiting a convicted sex offenders from using social media, violates the First Amendment Right to Free Speech. The ACLU brought the suit on behalf of John Doe, an anonymous registered sex offender who had been convicted of child exploitation.  Doe challenged Indiana Code Sec 35-42-4-12, which disallows registered sex offenders from using websites, chat rooms and instant messaging services if such entities are known to be accessible to minors.  In rendering the decision, Judge Joel Flaum, writing for the three member panel, found that the statute “broadly prohibits substantial protracted speech rather than specifically targeting the evil of improper commu I action to minors”.  What do you think?  Did the court get it right?





What do we mean when we say social media?

The Dayton Business Journal recently published the list of the top ten most visited social media websites. The list was compiled based on total number of visits.  No big surprise with Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in the top three spots.  Interesting to me was that Pintrest ranked fourth and that two relatively new sites, MeetMe and Tagged, scored pretty high up there, bumping Yelp at the same time.  Nothing much legal about a list of sites, but I think it interesting to have a sense of just what we are speaking of when we say “social media.”

“Social Media” Speech Protected at work

After we all agreed that we use social media as a way to vent about the life of a law student it makes sense that most people like to do the same thing by venting on fbook. It is good that people can have a sense of group therapy without having to fear they might lose their job. Apparently, the NLRB feels the same way!  An NY Times article concerning the NLRB’s series of decisions can be found here.


Judge Probably Wants to Call an Audible

Johnny Manziel, also known as “Johnny Football” won the Heisman trophy in his freshman year, the quickest ever to do so. He also  is pretty quick on the road. He received a speeding ticket after the season ended. What makes this story interesting is that we found out about the speeding ticket because Judge W. Lee posted the news on his Facebook account.

Husband of Prosecutor Defends Wife on Twitter

So, the Husband of the U.S. Prosecutor who charged Aaron Swartz was using Twitter to defend his Wife’s reputation. It didn’t go over well, apparently.   Interesting to note that under the Model Rules, a Prosecutor probably shouldn’t be saying the kind of things that her husband did on his Twitter – does SHE have any responsibility for what HE posts?

Law Enforcement Using Social Media

As I was browsing I found this Blog site called “The Social Media Beat” which is supported by the IACP Center for Social Media. This blog is all about how law enforcement is using technology and social media to their benefit. There are posts about Twitter, Skype, and YouTube. One author even mentions that from his point of view as a police officer, it is his duty to listen and respond to the community, and the community utilizes social media and so must he.

Everything on the site is really interesting and covers a range of posts, even one about reflecting on 2012 and looking forward to 2013 which was full of interesting statistics. I have just never thought about law enforcement and social media before and thought this would be a good blog URL to pass along. You can find it at

Should Apple prohibit new NRA App?

The NRA recently released a new app called Practice Range, which is exactly what it sounds like; allowing users to engage in virtual target practice.   Now it is time for Apple to decide whether to accept or reject the App for distribution to its iPhone and iPad consumers.   According to an article Dan Rowinski posted on Breadwrite Mobile, activists are lining up to encourage Apple CEO Tim Cook to reject the App.  The issue presents another instance of the increasingly debated concern over whether Apple’s “censorship” policy is overreaching.  Read more about the issue and Rowinski’s full article at

Watch your reputation!

This one comes from Megan Hodes.  Time Magazine recently published an article titled, “Don’t Ignore Your Social Media Reputation,” which discusses the (surprising) failure of small businesses to monitor what others post about them.  The article discusses a study by the Zeno Group which found that while 71% of large companies concern themselves with social media, only 55% of small companies do the same.

One issue the article doesn’t raise, is the problem of monitoring favorable and non-favorable reviews of both large and small businesses.  Companies face two major legal issues in their fight against maintaining a positive on-line reputation; the First Amendment rights of posters and the ability to post anonymously (making potential defamation and or other dignitary wrongs virtually impossible to mount)

Perhaps the inability to monitor the veracity of on-line postings is making them inconsequential.  (note to students – is this folly for an article?)

The Time Magazine article is available at

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