Don't Blame Facebook TX: 22 Jul 2013, Week 30


The next instalment of Don’t Blame Facebook features stories of social media mishaps and takes you on a whistle stop tour around the UK to meet some of the people who got into hot water when they underestimated the power and reach of social networks.

The first story features Curtis a former English light welterweight champion boxer who, following online abuse from a troll, decided to live tweet his car journey to confront him. The story went viral, but it all ended well as both agreed to shake hands on ITV breakfast show Daybreak.

The second story is about a young Essex lad, Jed, who decided to offer drugs online for a joke. He didn’t realise that one person who got in touch following his post was in fact an undercover reporter. A few weeks later he found himself splashed across the pages of the pages of a Sunday tabloid.

The third story is about Janey, a Scottish stand-up comedian, who on a train journey from Glasgow to London, overhead a young couple having a blazing row on the train and decided to live tweet the whole exchange blow by blow. The story went global putting her at the centre of an international debate on privacy.

The fourth story is about a young man named Louis, a video blogger. He made his name with his ‘extreme eating’ online channel – Food for Louis - which involved his friends challenging him to eat a variety of insects bugs and roadkill. When he decided to eat his pet goldfish and post the video online he found he went too far and the RSPCA turned up at his door.

The fifth story features Jamie who was on trial as part of a drug-related case. She was acquitted of the charges against her, but once back at home she received an inbox message from someone who turned out to be one of the jurors on the case. When this came to light, both found themselves back in court, making legal history along the way.

The sixth story features Sonny, a 12-year-old schoolboy who thought it might be fun to hitch a ride on his skateboard on the back of a 40 ton lorry as it sped through his local town. He was filmed whilst riding the lorry and his ‘prank’ was uploaded to the internet. The video went viral, attracting media attention and landing Sonny in trouble with his parents, and the police.

The seventh story is about a ‘Gangnam Style’ video parody, organised by the headmaster and entire teaching staff at the Mount Carmel school in Accrington in the North West. When it was posted online, it went viral and a local councillor was not impressed and made his views clear to the local paper. The story went national and the school found itself at the centre of a media storm.

The eight story features Sarah Jane, a Welsh mum, who took her then 4-month-old son to her eldest daughter Kerry’s live music gig. Whilst at the gig, someone took a photo of her and the baby and posted it online. This prompted a huge response and Sarah Jane found herself in the national press.

The ninth story features fashion blogger Poppy, who discovered that some of her innocent holiday snaps had been taken from a social media site and posted onto a US based porn site. When Poppy found out, she contacted the site, but had no response. After researching her legal rights, she fought to get the pictures taken down through the host provider.

The tenth story features accountant, Paul. On discovering Robin Hood airport was closed due to heavy snow, he tweeted a misjudged joke about blowing up the airport in frustration. It was 140 characters that would change the course of his life. Paul ended up being arrested and taken to court. The case and subsequent appeals went on for almost two years.

The eleventh and final story is set in Haren in Holland where a young teenager was set to have her sweet 16 birthday. After inviting friends online, a day later over a thousand people had accepted her request. The press got hold of the story and soon the whole of Holland knew about it. On the day of the party, thousands made their way to the town and although it started peacefully enough, it soon descended into chaos. A group of young people from the town set out to repair the damage via an online campaign.

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