Friday, February 13, 2015

Prisoner use of social media does stir controversy

Electronic Frontier Foundation has documented extreme discipline taken against prisoners, especially in South Carolina, when inmates violate prison policy by updating social media sites, especially Facebook.
Generally this happens with smuggled cell phones, or sometimes when relatives or friends outside jail are given access by prisoners to do the posts for them.  Think Progress has the story here
Prisons may actually be violating Facebook TOS by investigating and suspending accounts (because third party access violates TOS), but Facebook has generally complied when prisons ask Facebook to terminate prisoner accounts.

What sounds more provocative is the idea that giving up Internet or any computer access is often part of a plea bargain.  It sometimes is used as a bargaining chip to settle civil disputes, where some allegation of copyright infringement or defamation is made, but where the real intention is to silence a competitive speaker. 

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