Trial by Facebook


News this week that a juror was dismissed for sharing the details of a case on Facebook shows the inherent strength as well as dangers of using the web 2.0 phenomenon in business.

Jurors are not allowed to discuss trials with anyone, never mind a social networking site such as Facebook. Newspapers have strict contempt of court laws that forbid them from publishing details that could prejudice a trial. The largely unregulated web is dangerous.

If you transfer this to the business world workers using Facebook could quite easily get their employers into trouble through flippant comments. They could cause harm to a businesses reputation. This is a headache for any IT manager that allows or encourages the use of applications such as Facebook in the workplace.

But then the case also demonstrates the usefulness of collaboration. It is a difficult decision, deciding guilty or not guilty, that collective thought can help. Imagine getting rid of all those time consuming meetings and replacing them with real time discussions of an important issue.