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Should Prisoners Be Allowed to Use Social Media? Inside the #JailTok Movement and Debate

There is legislation under consideration in the UK that would have “harmful content filmed inside prisons removed from social media platforms more quickly.” It stems from a disturbing case where a woman saw a video of her son’s killer rapping from prison and mocking the justice system. There are plenty of other videos on the #jailtok hashtag that show prisoners doing shots, inciting violence and revealing the private identities of prison guards.

Some of these accounts also include prisoners whistleblowing about overcrowding and terribly living conditions too. Critics of the legislation warn that it could have the side effect of silencing these whistleblowers too … so it’s not as one-sided of an issue as it might seem. The real question is, when someone is imprisoned for a crime, should part of the punishment also be taking away their right to have a public voice beyond the walls of imprisonment? 

Reader Credit: Thanks to Emmanuel Probst for sharing the story!

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