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Trial by Social Media: how do you find the jury, guilty or not guilty?

Taylor, J., 2019. Trial by Social Media: how do you find the jury, guilty or not guilty? International Journal of Cyber Research and Education, 1 (2), pp. 50-61.

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DOI: 10.4018/IJCRE.2019070105

Abstract

Social media makes it easier than ever to access information and opinions associated with criminal proceedings, and viewing or discussing these pre-trial could reduce juror impartiality. This study explored whether viewing social media comments influenced mock juror verdicts. Seventy two participants formed twelve 6-person ‘mock juries’. All participants received information regarding a murder trial. Nine groups were exposed to social media comments, manipulated to be negative, positive or neutral towards the defendant. The remaining three groups only received trial information (control condition). Results showed that prior to group discussion, exposure to negatively-biased comments significantly increased the number of guilty verdicts, however these effects disappeared after group discussion. Therefore, although jurors may be unable to remain impartial before a trial, jury discussion can remove these prejudices; supporting previous group research. Further research is suggested where participants interact actively with social media, rather than passively viewing comments.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:2577-4816
Uncontrolled Keywords:Jury Bias; Pre-Trial; Publicity; Juror; Prejudice; Mock Jury; Cyberpsychology; Decision-Making
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:31874
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:25 Feb 2019 16:37
Last Modified:25 Jun 2019 11:53

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