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Social Media In The News: Death of Google Reader, Twitter Legal Briefs, And More

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Social Media In The News

Social media is permeating nearly every aspect of our society – that was particularly evident in the past week with a wide variety of reports, articles, blogs, and posts about social medial and the law.

Social Media Guilty Verdict. Time Magazine concludes that social media was largely responsible for the guilty verdict this pass weekend against two young men in Ohio accused of sexually assaulting a high school classmate.

"But what made the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case… different and what made it feel cutting edge is the pervasive role the Internet played. It is a whole new kind of crime when teen sexual assault meets social media and goes blaringly, glaringly public."

TTIWWOP. Joe Patrice at Above the Law also takes a look at the Steubenville rape verdict. Patrice examines the effect of TTIWWOP – "this thread is worthless without pictures" on the case.

"TTIWWOP is Internet lingo for "This Thread Is Worthless Without Pictures." It's a "see it to believe it" culture. Smartphones and social media make documenting every event in real time a simple affair. Those who've grown up with this technology available for most if not all of their lives fail to grasp why someone wouldn't record everything. If it's not on social media, how can it be real? Including rapes."

Google Reader Killed By Twitter? Eric Turkewitz discussed the death of RSS and the rise of Twitter.

"[M]ost anyone I would have followed on RSS is placing links to their blog posts on Twitter. And Twitter also had the advantage of having (short) comments on those blog posts, which might also give you an idea if something was interesting or contentious. RSS was not just redundant, but inferior."

140 Character Legal Briefs. Turkewitz also advocated adopting Twitter-syle legal briefs. I think he's on to something.

"Legal writing guru Bryan Garner teaches lawyers to frame their issues in just 75 words. If you can't do that, he argues, you haven't sufficiently identified the issue and simplified your thinking. Think of Twitter as a more extreme form of Garner's 75-word rule."

Too Much Interactive Sharing. Devan Desai looks at social sharing features between Netflix and Facebook.

"There may be things I am missing. But I don't see how turning on this feature is wise given that it seems to require you to remember not to share in ways that make sharing a bit leakier than you may want…. So imagine you forget that your viewing habits are broadcast. And what about Roku or other streaming devices? How does one ensure that the 'Don't Share' button is used before the word gets out that you watched one, two, or three movies on drugs, sex, gay culture, how great guns are, etc.?"

What's On Your Facebook News Feed? Kevin O'Keefe asks why you see what you see in your Facebook news feed.

"Facebook explained last November that the three most important factors that determine whether you'll see a post in your Facebook feed are:

  • How you've reacted to the publisher in the past.
  • How other people have reacted to the publisher's story.
  • How you've reacted to similar stories before.

Try, Try Again. Orin Kerr gives Twitter another shot.

"I opened a Twitter account back in 2009, but I never used it. I've decided to try again."

Consider Yourself Served. A federal judge has given the U.S. government permission to serve defendants pleadings, motions, and other documents by Facebook.

"The Court acknowledges that service by Facebook is a relatively novel concept…."

In a world where more and more are judging their celebrity (or even their self-worth) by their number of Twitter followers, it's not surprising we're seeing more and more about social media in the news. How do you use social media?

© Copyright 2013 Brett A. Emison

Follow @BrettEmison on Twitter.