Ramblings & ephemera

Interviewed for an article about mis-uses of Twitter

The Saint Louis Beacon published an article on 27 April 2009 titled “Tweets from the jury box aren’t amusing“, about legal “cases across the country where jurors have used cell phones, BlackBerrys and other devices to comment – sometimes minute by minute or second by second on Twitter, for instance – on what they are doing, hearing and seeing during jury duty.” In it, I was quoted as follows:

The small mobile devices so prevalent today can encourage a talkative habit that some people may find hard to break.

“People get so used to doing it all the time,” said Scott Granneman, an adjunct professor of communications and journalism at Washington University. “They don’t stop to think that being on a jury means they should stop. It’s an etiquette thing.”

Moreover, he added, the habit can become so ingrained in some people – even those on juries who are warned repeatedly they should not Tweet or text or talk about they case they are on – that they make excuses.

“It’s habitual,” Granneman said. “They say ‘It’s just my friends and family reading this.’ They don’t know the whole world is following this.

“Anybody can go to any Twitter page. There may be only eight people following you, but anybody can go anyone’s page and anybody can reTweet – forward someone’s page: ‘Oh my God, the defense attorney is so stupid.’ That can go on and on and on.”

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