Social Enterprise

Peter Cochrane's Blog: Facebook saves teen from prison

Another unexpected impact of social networking

Compiled on the M6 while travelling from Birmingham to Ipswich. Dispatched to silicon.com via free wi-fi at The IoD in London two days later.

I just chanced upon a news story about an innocent New York teenager who had armed robbery charges dropped by prosecutors thanks to evidence provided by his Facebook activities. The 19-year-old was released as his Facebook updates placed him at his father's apartment at the time of the incident.

You can read the full story on the Sky News website.

The prosecution dropped the charge after experts testified that the messages were typed on his father's PC, a fact supported by witness statements also placing him in the area at that time. So this young man avoided the possibility of incarceration for a maximum of 25 years for a crime he did not commit.

But for his Facebook activity, this innocent young man could have been locked away. A story that changes people's perception of the power social networking.

About Peter Cochrane

Peter Cochrane is an engineer, scientist, entrepreneur, futurist and consultant. He is the former CTO and head of research at BT, with a career in telecoms and IT spanning more than 40 years.

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