Monday, 4 February 2013

Online Public Record

The Barrister's Dream

I already discussed people putting incriminating material over the web for all to see before (see here). I will do so again to show how far this phenomenon can go.
You probably don’t know the actress/model called Jillian Murray but I do, virtually: she is the face of Mass Effect’s Liara. According to Twitter and Instagram, Jillian Murray is/was doing jury duty on a murder case. One can expect to be limited when discussing one's jury duties over the web: there is always that rightful fear such discussions will affect decisions (then again, I don’t get the jury system to begin with).
Murray, however, seems unaffected: in this post she tells her fans how she wants out of jury duty; then, following someone’s tip, she admits to declaring herself a racist as a way of getting out. Aside of noting how people not associated with the trial immediately guessed color is an issue (what does that say about American society?), I will note what we have on our hands here: we have a 28 year old celebrity actress announcing for the public record that she’s a racist. I would expect more from anyone, never mind a public figure.
I don’t think Jillian Murray is dumb. We probably don’t share fields of interest, but some of her other social media inputs suggest there is more to her than good looks. On the other hand who knows, she might even be a proper racist outside of court (although I really do hope she isn’t; aside of racism being a taint on the world and a sign of ignorance, it would taint Liara!). However, I fail to understand how a public figure allows themselves to potentially tint their reputation with racism in this way. She might be 28 now, but this thing could have an effect on her when she’s 58 and her current talents are ancient history.
People, be careful what you put on online. The rule is simple: unless you are willing to stand up for it, do not put it online. Because at least until the zombie apocalypse comes, it will be there for posterity.

Image by bonnetmaker, Creative Commons license

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