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Ariel Castro’s Trial by Facebook

It’s fair to say that many people have been touched by recent news of the three missing girls in Cleveland, Ohio that were found to be alive after having been held captive for almost 10 years.

The alleged perpetrator is a man by the name of Ariel Castro and within hours of the news breaking on this story, links to his Facebook page were being shared on Twitter.

I managed to take some screenshots of Ariel Castro’s Facebook page in those early hours and comparing them five days later provides a fascinating insight into what can best be described as Trial by Facebook.

First, let’s look at what happens to the number of Facebook friends you’ll have left in the unlikely event you should find yourself in Mr. Casto’s shoes.


No surprises here with 60% of his friends un-friending him quick smart.

So let’s look now at his Facebook Profile Photo which had been shared 160 times when I first saw it, but has since been shared over 600 times.ariel-profile-photo

But it’s when we look at the comments that other Facebook users have attached to their shares of this picture that we get to see the digital lynch mob in action.



Of all the shares, this one is quite tame in comparison, with others like this.



However, sadly, many people are still not up to date with the news that Ariel Castro’s two brothers have been released by Police and are not believed to be implicated in his crimes.



It’s this kind of blatant misinformation that really disturbs me, as people who get so passionate about something lose all sight of reality, or perhaps don’t bother to fact check beforehand.  Such is the danger of what we’re all facing with the media revolution.

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