Court Ordered Facebook Apology

March 1, 2012 § 2 Comments

A court ordered facebook apology. That’s a new one, right? Mark Byron was ordered to apologize to his wife via facebook or face jail time after posting a rude status update. Mark and Elizabeth’s marriage began to get rocky after having their son in July of 2010. Elizabeth then began claiming that Mark verbally abused and physically threatened her.

According to the Cincinnati news, after being exonerated of criminal charges, a civil protective order was issued against Mark, ordering him to stay away from his wife. Frustrated with the court and his wife, Mark wrote, “…if you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband’s life and take your son’s father away from him completely – all you need to do is say that you’re scared of your husband or domestic partner…” on his own facebook wall.

Even though he had blocked his wife from his facebook page and the post was not addressed to her, she found the post and reported it to the judge. She believed it violated a court order, stating that Mark was not to, “to suffer physical and/or mental abuse, harassment, annoyance, or bodily injury.”

The court gave Mark an option, either go to jail for 60 days or post apologies on his facebook wall for thirty days. According to the Cincinnati news, free-speech expert Jack Greiner said, “The idea that a court can say ‘I order you not to post something or to post something’ seems to me to be a First Amendment issue.”

“The court’s order to compel speech is as much a violation of the First Amendment as suppressing free speech,” Greiner said.

Hanni Fakhoury, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation said, “Forcing someone to speak as punishment for speaking” could violate Mark Byron’s free speech rights.

If you ask me, I agree with Greiner and Fakhoury. Forcing someone to apologize or face jail time isn’t giving them much of a choice. What do you think? Did the court violate Mark’s First amendment rights?

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Twitter and the Presidential Election

February 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

TV and Twitter tend to coincide. Whether it’s during the Superbowl, the Grammys or the newest episode of The Bachelor people are tweeting while watching. This also means it’s very likely that people are voicing their opinions via Twitter during the presidential debates.

According to TechCrunch, South Carolina tested this theory with their Republican debate by having viewers tweet the candidate’s name and #dodge or #answer in regards to how well the candidate answered his or her questions. Participants were asked to tweet during breaks and after the debate. The results were displayed in a graph showing how well the public believed the candidates answered their debate questions. The only problem? Fox didn’t show the candidates the results in real time because, “influencers and technologists might be overrepresented.”

If you’re not going to show the candidates what people are saying in real time, then what’s the point of creating a real time, online conversation about the debate? If I thought candidates were “dodging” questions, I would want to give them a chance to backpedal and fully answer the question.

So, what if our tweets were broadcast in real time to the candidates during the presidential debate? Obviously there would need to be someone monitoring the chat or chaos would ensue, but that would at least answer some of our key questions. At minimum, the candidates would know when the people watching the debate believe they are not fully answering the questions presented. Real time opinions broadcast to the candidates might even improve the transparency of this year’s presidential election. Food for thought.

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PR Executive, one of the most stressful jobs

January 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Career Cast has come out with “The most stressful jobs of 2012” and to my surprise, Public Relations Executive followed not far behind Police Officer.

At #7 on the list, PR Executives even come before the Corporate Executive on the stress test. This doesn’t mean that every Public Relations Executive is going to have an extremely stressful job; it just means the majority of them do. Just the same, the police officer who sits behind a desk for eight hours a day isn’t going to be as stressed out as the one who patrols the streets.

Why is the Public Relations Executive so high on the list? PR Executives are in charge of maintaining the positive image of the corporation, company, person or government entity they represent. Sometimes this is a difficult task, especially when the client is involved in any type of scandal or controversy. Being the intermediate of communication, the PR Executive often acts as the voice of the client while interacting with the media and the public. In a very competitive field, meeting deadlines and making speeches is a large part of the job.

Ironically, the Event Planner comes in at #6 on the list, which is often categorized as a type of Public Relations.  Moral of the story… If you’re looking for a place to relax, the Public Relations industry is probably not for you. But if you’re looking for a career that is going to keep you on your toes and give your something different to do everyday, then you’re on the right track.

This post can also be read on Marketing Conversations and Business 2 Community.

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