I am not a lawyer. You know, yet. Therefore, I’m not allowed to give out legal advice. So this isn’t what you’d call legal advice: don’t put incriminating photos on the internet. That’s just advice from someone who’s not a gigantic idiot.
There are some really dumbfounding stories in that AP article. Boy crashes car while drunk, injuring woman. Woman lies in hospital. Boy goes to halloween party dressed in an orange jumpsuit. Boy gets photographed and put on Facebook. Prosecutor searches Facebook. Prosecutor uses incriminating photos to put boy in prison for two years.
sidebar: I recall a number of stories a few years back with college kids caught drinking in their dorm rooms because they posted pictures of themselves drinking in their dorm rooms on MySpace or Facebook or whichever. That’s stupid in and of itself. They cried foul because, like, bro, no grown-ups allowed.
But these kids have already committed a crime, and they’re still leaving fantastic evidence for prosecutors. Some are even posting new evidence for prosecutors during the trial. One girl got her recommended sentence increased from probation to two years in a DUI car crash that killed her passenger. (I’d say her lawyer was doing a fantastic job in the first place.)
As if the internet weren’t enough of a public place already, when you put yourself on Facebook and Myspace, you are quite literally advertising yourself to the rest of the world. That’s fine. Cute girls have to find you somehow, I’m certain.
To be fair, we’re really the first generation for whom this problem has come up. I’m sure at some point, someone has accidentally mailed incriminating photos of himself to a prosecutor. These things are bound to happen. But it’s a whole new world with the internet involved. My generation’s going to have to figure this stuff out quickly.
But how long does it take, really?