New jury rules target Google+, MySpace, more

Gigaom

Tired of juries screwing up cases through social media, the federal courts have issued new instructions to rein in the use of Facebook, Twitter and more.

The new “model jury instructions” issued last week suggest judges are becoming more aware of social media. The instructions provide judges with text to read to jurors, including:

You may not communicate with anyone about the case on your cell phone, through e-mail, Blackberry, iPhone, text messaging, or on Twitter, through any blog or website, including Facebook (s fb), Google+ (s goog), My Space, LinkedIn (s lnkd), or YouTube.

Judge Julie A. Robinson, who helped prepare the instructions, told the U.S. Court system that judges should remind jurors “frequently” about the social media ban.

The instructions also tell jurors to tell the judge if they hear or see someone else breaking the rules.

The cautions may seem excessive but a growing number of trials have been…

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