Facebook, MySpace Offer Prime Evidence

Profiles, photos can haunt defendants, help prosecutors
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 20, 2008 7:13 PM CDT
Facebook, MySpace Offer Prime Evidence
This image provided by Facebook shows the social networking site's new look, Wednesday, May 21, 2008.    (AP Photo/Facebook, ho)

Social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace have offered crime-solving help to detectives and become a resource for employers vetting job applicants. Now the sites are proving fruitful for prosecutors, who have used damaging Internet photos of defendants to cast doubt on their character during sentencing hearings and argue for harsher punishment, reports the AP. In one Rhode Island case, Facebook photos helped lead to a 2-year prison sentence.

"Social networking sites are just another way that people say things or do things that come back and haunt them," said Phil Malone, director of the cyberlaw clinic at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. "The things that people say online or leave online are pretty permanent." (More Facebook stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.