Facebook “Trial by Timeline” app shows instances of self-incrimination

May 16, 2013
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For years now, law enforcement has utilized social networks - Facebook in particular - as part of their evidence-gathering efforts, in some instances finding cause to arrest or ticket individuals who incriminate themselves with status updates. Such was perhaps the inspiration for Amnesty International's "Trial by Timeline" app, which searches your Facebook accounts and shows you the various ways you've incriminated yourself and the punishments you would receive in different locations around the world.

The app was created by the New Zealand Amnesty International, and takes place outside of Facebook on its own website. After a brief introduction detailing the freedoms many of us enjoy and the lack of said freedoms in many places across this world, the app then requests permission to access your Facebook. After granting it, your social account will be analyzed, with your friends being "interrogated" and the things you've said in statuses, have liked, participated in, and listed potentially being used against you.

Once the "investigation" is over, a list of your crimes begin to scroll across the screen, followed by a list of your punishment and the various countries where you would be guilty. This is done alongside eye-catching graphics and a slowly scrolling animation. At the end of it all, you're presented with a map of your sentencing, which displays in graph form the different types of punishments you would have received and for which statuses.

For example, I was personally found guilty - based on my Facebook information - of 4 crimes totaling 85 convictions in 67 different countries. For my crimes, my punishment graph shows 44 beatings, 24 instances of imprisonment, one lashing, a couple dozen spats of torture, and being killed nine times over again by extremists.

sentencing

The purpose of the app is to draw attention to human rights issues across the world and bring attention to the lack of freedom in many locations (let's hope you didn't pop up with a violation or two in your own country). It has the added effect of bringing the dose of perspective we all need at times about the things we take for granted, and perhaps a small reminder to be careful what we post for the world the see.

Note: The app fails partway through when using Google Chrome, but is tested as working with Internet Explorer and Firefox.

SOURCE: Trial by Timeline


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