Law and justice in our 21st century Web-era society #gov2au

Sunday Mail reporter Anthony Gough called me last week seeking my views on a Queensland Police Service Facebook site featuring public comments on crimes and arrests.

Of course, before making a media comment on the matter I took a closer look at the site.

I quickly formed the view that it seemed an excellent community policing tool and a great way for police to get information about unsolved crimes but that many comments crossed the line once suspects had been arreste

Mark Pearson, an academic who specialises in media law, caused a bit of a stir with his reported comments. However, one of the benefits of the Web is that we can go straight to the source and bypass the newspaper editorial filter. Personally I think this is still a grey area – there are still too many variables, such different jurisdictions (e.g. US where Facebook is hosted and Australia where the user live). We won’t really know until something ends up in front of judge. An more ideal outcome is that the law (in Australia) will catch up with a common sense view towards social media that meets the needs of our 21st century Web-era society.

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