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Social Media and the Casey Anthony Trial

It hasn't even been 12 hours since the verdict was reached in the Casey Anthony murder trial and already the world is in an uproar. If you don't know what's going on, look it up. Go to CNN  or Fox or MSNBC or some news outlet and find out the latest NEWS information on the murder trial of 2011. 

Just don't go to Facebook. Twitter is not that different at the moment.
I can't say that I'm terribly surprised. Facebook has a way of creating groupthink that is alternately empowering and scary at the same time. It's amazing to post a link to an article or a profound thought or (I don't know...hmm...) a blog and see your words, thoughts or submissions reposted by friends and even strangers.  Social media is a powerful force and I owe much of my support system as well as the success of our foundation to the wonders of the Internet.  At the same time, how many of you have seen this silly meme floating around lately: 
"It's official.. signal at 12:20 it even passed on tv. Facebook will start charging this summer. If you copy this on your wall your icon will turn blue and facebook will be free for you. Please pass this message if not your account will be deleted. ps this is serious the icon turns blue,so please put this on your wall."
It's not true, people! Facebook is not going to charge you to use its service. This false rumor (or a version of it) has been blindly passed from status to status since 2009.  Can I tell you how much I love Snopes
But I digress...
Almost as soon as the verdict of not guilty was read at 2:15 on Tuesday afternoon, Facebook and Twitter lit up with status updates ranging from the thoughtful to the ridiculous. There are over 100 fan/interest pages dedicated to Caylee Anthony or the trial (and its aftermath). I know many of these have been established since her disappearance in 2008 but new ones have popped up just since the trial verdict was read. People are passing imaginary balloons in her honor. People are turning on their porch lights in her honor. I guess it's a good thing the trial wasn't held in the fall. If the jury result coincided with Halloween there could be some major confusion. 
Again, I digress. 
I admit that I commented on a few status updates, however most of them I chose to ignore. I could tell you my thoughts on the case but my friend Adam pretty much summarized it so you can read it on his blog.  
Do it. 
Ok, now that you're back...I have a few more thoughts to add. 
There were two more Caylee Anthony-related posts on Facebook that made me smile.  The runner up was: "If your new profile picture is Caylee Anthony, I will unfriend you immediately."
The winner goes to my friend Lia who posted a link to Greater Richmond SCAN, the area network dedicated to stopping child abuse. As Lia suggested, you can channel your anger about this trial and its result into something positive. SCAN has a Wish List of needed items. These items are not expensive and you can pick up one (or two) (or ten) on your next trip to the grocery store or Target. If you can't pick up something on the Wish List, make a donation. It takes two minutes and it does more good than churning the negative (and largely ignorant) energy on Facebook. 
I plan to follow Lia's lead on my next trip to the grocery store. 
This whole event is sad on so many levels. That's my last word on the subject.  
Facebook wisely, my friends.



  1. Thanks for saving me, I almost got sucked in!

  2. Although I was sucked into posting one updated status about the case, I did also find a post from a friend useful. It was a link for where you can sign a petition to make a new law to make it a felony for a parent or guardian not to notify law enforcement if a child goes missing in a timely manner.
    Apparently just from the responses on there are quite a few states already working on laws like this one.
    So I guess the facebook posts like this one are helpful in some way...


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