LONDON, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Access to social media channels is becoming influential within the court system, says SEO agency Punch Communications. With social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, attorneys, judges, and juries alike have information available, which has the potential to sway decisions and affect sentences or even a mistrial.
There has been an ongoing debate within the legal system whether or not to allow Tweeting from the courtroom. Attorneys have been known to be against live-blogging and Tweeting as they feel it can influence witnesses and jurors, obstructing a fair trial. Some judges ask that jurors stop using the internet during trials as they could be manipulated by the information. Reporters argue that they are simply reporting the information that would appear in a newspaper, the information is just delivered faster.
High profile court cases generally have media and television cameras banned from the courtroom to prevent any influencing of the public and jury. With the increase of smartphone users, information is readily available at the touch of a button. News stories used to appear on regularly scheduled news programs or the evening newspaper but now information is constantly streamed, not only by journalists and newscasters, but also by the general public through blogs and social media channels with a lot of the global population turning to the internet as a source of up to the second news.
Keredy Stott, senior account manager at social media agency Punch Communications said, "It's important to monitor what information is included on social networking sites whilst in court. Attorneys have used social media profiles to research cases and even potential jurors. As the internet is public record, anything posted on social networks can be cited in court cases. A seemingly innocent video on YouTube, a photo posted on Facebook or a Tweet could be used to portray someone in a negative light if taken out of context."
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SOURCE Punch Communications Ltd