In the beginning of 2013 a battering took place at the Vestdijk in Eindhoven, a group of guys hit on an innocent young man. This battering was captured by street webcams. Two weeks after this recording the Public Prosecutions Department in Brabant decided to publish this footage online, in an attempt to identify the suspects. The webcam images were spread through social media so rapidly, they soon identified the suspects, which were nicknames as 'Kopschoppers' (Headkickers) because of their targeted kicking. But not only the detection was successful because of the internet, also the evaluation and judgement was taken in own hands through social media. In addition, there were several discussions started on the basis of this case. Such as the role of the Public Prosecution, also on virtual field. And if it was okay to give these guys a shortening no there punishment after the virual pillory.
I did the editorial design on the theme: the impact of social media on law. This by a large-scale research on similar cases, the law, and by interviews with Ernst Pols and Diederik Greive (press officers of the Public Prosecution), Freddy Mols (lawyer of the main suspect in the Kopschop-case), Hugo Nieuwenhuizen (lawyer of an other suspect in the Kopschop-case) and Bart Schermer (lecturer at eLaw@Leiden)
In the book similar cases are discussed in which social media had some influence, chronologically and all occurred in 2013. With the Kopschopzaak as a guidance. The table of contents had been translated into a summary of the Kopschop-case. in which subthemes are marked that function as chapters. At first, the impact by social media on detection is spotlighted, acquired with the manhunt for the Kopschoppers. Then comes a part where internet users and the government realize that social media is a powerful medium, and how they later on uses this. Then the virtual convictions are discussed with -again- on front of that the virtual pillory on the perpetrators of the Kopschop-case. In the fifth and final chapter it goes to extremes, where the issues goes from the virtual world into the real world, so the -first- virtual sentence enforcements starts to appear in physical punishments.
This story has been amplified with opinions and ideas of the interviewed and with selected pieces from the Code.
This project was shown on the graduation show, from the 26th till the 29th of June in Rotterdam. (wdka.nl)