No Surprise MySpace Suicide Conviction Reversed by Trial Judge

03 July 2009 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

The tragic suicide death of a 13 year old girl is still part of this terrible story, but the trial judge finally did the right thing to say that the conviction was wrong. Even in these circumstances violating terms of service should not be a crime which was at the basis of the conviction. No doubt we will see more trials testing terms of service and privacy policies which will help develop the legal interpretation of social networking.
New Privacy Controls on Facebook
As Facebook continues to grow it is now trying new privacy controls in spite of the fact that most friends who sign up never review the Facebook privacy policies or terms of services. But will the +200 million Facebook users take advantage of the new features and will these new privacy features really protect the users? Only time will tell.
Web 2.0 Politics
Watching the recent events in Iran and China it seems pretty clear that Web 2.0 has a direct impact on politics, or why else would governments censor social networks? As we see cultures change with the proliferation of social networks laws need to be flexible and it seems only right that the Judge should reverse the MySpace criminal conviction which was a breach of contract. It is sad that a 13 year old died and the events that brought about the suicide are terrible, but not a crime. It is very bad judgment to use a social network technology to purposely hurt another person regardless of age.

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