Several recent developments prompted this writer to revisit a topic my prior columns have addressed. In November 2011, the Federal Judicial Center issued its report, “Jurors’ Use of Social Media During Trials and Deliberations,”1 the result of a survey questionnaire sent to all active and senior federal district judges, 952 in all. A total of 508 judges responded with some 94 percent of them saying that they have specifically barred jurors from case-connected use of social media, most commonly via jury instructions and reminders on a regular basis.

Only 30 of the federal judges reported instances of “detected” social media use by jurors. However, the critical reader looks at the word “detected” and wonders whether Internet misbehavior abounds but slips under the radar. The judges acknowledged that it is “difficult to detect inappropriate use of social media.” Six percent, or some 30 judges, indicated they have not specifically addressed the problem. The report details the preventive measures judges have used.2

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