Social media started as a way to connect with friends over the internet, but it has grown to encompass a multitude of uses. These days, suspected criminal activity is often spread by social media before an accused individual has even stepped inside a court room. This can wreak havoc on the constitutional guarantee that every person accused of a crime is presumed innocent unless and until proved otherwise in court. Recently, the alleged assault of a mentally challenged man by four young boys in Pennsylvania was seen by millions on Facebook before the boys were charged with any crime.
An unknown person posted a 30 second video of the apparent assault on Facebook that quickly went viral. The slow-motion video included four young boys, ranging in age from12 to15, allegedly beating a 38-year-old man who is a valued employee at a grocery store. Reportedly, two of the boys blindsided the older man with punches and continued to beat him as the other two boys watched nearby. The injuries that the older man suffered as a result of the beating were not reported.