A Facebook comment by a juror made before a trial has resulted in a mistrial. CBC news reports that on the first day of a Moncton murder trial of Fred Prosser, the victim’s family brought to the judge’s attention the fact that one of the jurors was a member of a Facebook group against the accused, and had posted comments on it. The judge declared a mistrial to avoid the possibility that this juror had already tainted the rest of the jury.
You can hear David Fraser’s comments in this CBC interview. David comments that many people don’t appreciate that the rules of the offline world apply to the online world as well. I couldn’t agree more.
On the one hand, some people totally forget the old rules and do things on social media that they would never do in a letter to the editor. But on the other hand, some people are more comfortable with the risks of things they are familiar with than new things.
This often explains why some people do imprudent things online, and why some organizations try to unduly suppress online activity.