S. Carolina inmates face harsh penalties for social media

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For South Carolina jail inmates, posting on Facebook is considered a extreme crime on par with homicide, in response to a brand new report. Social media exercise within the state’s prisons is punishable by solitary confinement and different draconian penalties.

A South Carolina Freedom of Information Act request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) revealed that since 2012 the state’s Department of Corrections (SCDC) has thought-about “Creating and/or Assisting With A Social Networking Site” — principally accessing social media like Facebook or blogs and e mail for any purpose — a Level 1 offense, on par with essentially the most heinous of crimes like homicide.

“Since the policy was implemented, SCDC has brought 432 disciplinary cases against 397 inmates, with more than 40 inmates receiving more than two years in solitary confinement,” EFF wrote of the coverage.

In addition to lengthy stretches of solitary confinement, some inmates discovered to have used social media had privileges like telephone entry or visitation time taken away.

An inmate want solely be discovered to have smuggled a cellular phone into jail to entry social media or to have requested associates or household to verify his account after giving them his private password.

In addition, the SCDC issued a separate Level 1 infraction for every day an inmate accesses social media, not for every time.

“In other words, if a South Carolina inmate caused a riot, took three hostages, murdered them, stole their clothes, and then escaped, he could still wind up with fewer Level 1 offenses than an inmate who updated Facebook every day for two weeks,” EFF wrote.

Most of the circumstances concerned within the coverage involved use of Facebook, which has complied remarkably, processing tons of of profile-suspension requests from SCDC officers. Facebook says it might censor inmates’ pages based mostly on its Terms of Service settlement, “specifically, purported violations of terms banning users from using aliases or sharing passwords with third parties,” in response to EFF.

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