As the jury pool progressively ages and more and more jurors hail from the Facebook generation, it has become utterly crucial for litigators to consider social media in the processes of jury selection, jury consulting and persuasion. The statistics of Facebook’s prevalence alone are astonishing.
- Facebook has more than one billion members worldwide
- The average person spends about 12 hours/month on it
- The average person has 229 friends, but for the 18-34 set, the average is 318
- The average person creates three pieces of new content every day
- Fifty percent of all users log in every day
- Fifteen percent of all users update their own status every day
- One billion pieces of content are shared every day
- About one-third of the U.S. population is on Facebook
- Ninety-eight percent of 18-24 year olds use social media
- The fastest growing demographic of Facebook users is age 35 and older
As we view social media, we must remember that research has shown that – perhaps surprisingly — most people present their real self, rather than their idealized self, on social media profiles. In court, in contrast, jurors may intentionally put their best or worst foot forward, depending on their agenda. Thus, social media offers a wealth of data about prospective jurors not evident in court.
by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D.
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