Neighborhood conditions like exposure to violence are unacceptable, and undoubtedly create numerous negative outcomes. However, there are additional factors that consistently show up for youth involved in gun violence that are often not seen as important to stopping gun violence, and thus are overlooked in policy solutions.
In most states, media outlets are prevented from reporting the names and some details in juvenile cases. This practice is born of the idea that juveniles can be rehabilitated and returned to society without the stigma of criminality. Overall this has been a successful policy, but sometimes it goes awry. A recent case in Kentucky has illustrated some of the pitfalls of the practice, especially in the age of social media. ABC and many other outlets reported the story a few days ago.
CINCINNATI – Marian Wright Edelman sees this as a “do or die” moment for American democracy. The first black woman to join the Mississippi bar, Edelman led the NAACP’s legal defense fund in Jackson in the 1960s. She’s seen her share of social injustice. But rising incarceration, poverty and social disparity in the United States is increasingly harming children and poor people, she says – the country’s most vulnerable groups — while special interests and money control the political system. It’s time for citizens to roll up their sleeves, she says.
No one really questions how effective social media can be these days. Just look back across the wreckage of any number of despotic regimes in the Arab World or the 70 million plus views of a YouTube posting that may help lead to the downfall of a particularly brutal madman in central Africa and the Invisible Children at his mercy. Nor do you have to look afar for the good it can do, and in rapid fashion. For the several hundred friends and acquaintances of 19-year-old Richard Bland, a scheduled visit by a gang of four young men from the now-cancelled MTV series The Buried Life was used to jazz up a little interest in the importance of organ donations and specifically young Richard’s need for a kidney. The idea to engineer the mash up of social media and the visit by the Buried Life crew to Kennesaw State University north of Atlanta, sprang to life in the minds of some fraternity boys on a recent evening.
Want to interact with your favorite alcohol companies on Facebook? Then you better be able to legally take a drink. Starting September 30, alcohol companies in the United States and Europe now have to consider a set of self-regulatory guidelines designed to prevent marketing their products to kids, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) issued these rules for advertising and marketing on all branded digital marketing communications, including social networking sites, websites, blogs, mobile communications and other applications. Alcohol marketers already use age gates on their brand websites, requiring people to enter their birth date to prevent minors from accessing the sites.
It’s no secret: Social media has redefined the way people communicate, especially among the under-30 crowd. Now, law enforcement agencies are catching on and increasingly incorporating social media into their arsenal of crime-fighting tools.
Over the past few months a series of high profile social-media-turned-criminal acts have made headlines — from flash mobs turned violent on the streets of Philadelphia to Atlanta house parties taped off as homicide scenes — and law enforcement has taken note.
Some agencies have been quick to recognize the potential of embracing social media. The Department of Homeland Security, for example, has run a “Social Media Monitoring Center” since early 2009; Correction officials in California have worked directly with Facebook to thwart inmates from accessing social profiles while behind bars; And police in New York formed a special unit to monitor social channels for gang-related and other potential criminal acts.
It was 5:34am when the hideous screech of the alarm finally woke me up. My wife was already in the kitchen on her second cup of coffee, clutching her iPad with determined eyes fixed to the screen. I kissed her on the head before pouring myself a cup as she glanced up at me quickly and without a word. Something wasn’t right. “Whatcha reading,” I asked casually in an effort to seem unaware of her obvious discomfort.
British papers are full of news stories and commentary about the role social media has played in the riots that rocked London and other major cities. Prime Minister David Cameron’s calls to shut down some sites have been met with a barrage of criticism, such as this op-ed in the Guardian. Others have attacked the government’s overall response, including its attack on social media outlets and the deployment of water cannons comparing the aggressive behavior to the Mubarak regime’s initial response to the Egyptian uprising. The Telegraph has a stream of comments on its web site, some from former police officers, critical of the police for not being aggressive enough, including their hesitation in shutting down the Blackberry and other cellular networks. The Blackberry network was reportedly instrumental in maintaining anonymity for many protestors and organizing riots.