Was Bladerunner’s Most Difficult Race Run on Twitter?
In 2014 there seems to be as much edge-of-the-seat tension watching the big news stories unfold on social networks as through the live TV footage.
Take this week’s trial of Oscar Pistorius, for example.
Arguably, the Bladerunner’s biggest battle has been run every inch as breathlessly and controversially on the micro-blogging platform, Twitter, as it has in front of the paid-for legal experts and the TV cameras.
And judging by the flood of tweets I’ve read, the courtroom of public opinion seems a lot less forgiving than that closeted by the oak-panelled halls of justice in South Africa.
Did he brutally gun down his lover through that bathroom door? Well, no – the law tells us that fact is far from proven.
Yet, even the briefest glimpse of your Twitter timeline will tell a very different story.
While the law tells us there has been far from sufficient evidence to make a conviction for murder stick to Oscar Pistorius, the court of public opinion seems convinced his celebrity means he has got away with a crime so heinous it seems unthinkable.
Twitter convicted the Bladerunner hours, weeks maybe, before the court had passed judgement in South Africa.
At the very least, according to the majority of Twitter posts we’ve seen, Oscar Pistorius deserves to spend a number of years behind bars for shooting four bullets through a bathroom door and killing the woman he called his lover.
The real outcome may be somewhat different, of course. He can be sentenced to 15 years jail for his “culpable homicide” but he may well walk off with nought more than a slapped wrist. That’s the reality.
How would Twitter sentence him?
We doubt Twitter would be quite so lenient.
Below are a few of the tweets from some of the more famous faces to have made their voices heard on the whole Oscar Pistorius drama in the last day or two.
If justice was left up to social media, would he already be chained to a wall wearing prison-issue clothes? Probably.
PIERS MORGAN (media commentator)
Whatever your view on verdict, one thing’s sure: if Pistorius hadn’t loaded his house with guns for ‘safety’, Reeva would still be alive
GARY LINEKER (TV presenter)
Judges may occasionally err, but the chances of the right verdict would surely be much higher
LAUREN BEUKES (Author)
We need to remember Reeva Steenkamp in the circus that is the trial of Oscar Pistorius. We need to remember that a woman is dead
RUSSELL BRAND (Comedian)
DOOR! What is it good for? Avoiding murder conviction.
KATIE HOPKINS (TV Personality)
If that git ever runs again, I hope he trips and breaks both arms
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