Open Source Subnet An independent Open Source community View more

Video: Zimmerman trial calls witness via Skype, trolls intervene

After the Skype account used to call a witness in the George Zimmerman murder trial is made public, trolls jump in and derail the testimony.

The prosecution in the murder trial against George Zimmerman, who has confessed to murdering Florida teenager Trayvon Martin but is arguing self defense based on the state's "Stand Your Ground" law, recently called a witness to testify via Skype, for whatever reason. As they quickly learned, it was a bad idea.

The case is being broadcasted on TV news, and when the Skype call was started, the witness's Skype account name was visible to anyone watching. It didn't take long for internet trolls to jump at this opportunity and flood the testimony with new Skype calls. Notorious internet message board 4Chan even launched a thread encouraging people to do so. After receiving more than a dozen calls, which both interrupted the audio and blocked the witness's face, the judge gets agitated and instructs the prosecutors to end the Skype call.

At one point one when the witness, Scott Pleasants, a professor at Seminole State College in Florida and Zimmerman's former teacher, tries to click decline on every call as they come in, one of the prosecutors says "there's now a really good chance that we're being toyed with, just so you know." About a minute later, the judge orders him to "hang up the phone."

The witness was in Colorado at the time of his testimony, but he still teaches at Seminole State College in Florida, located roughly 15 minutes away from the courthouse. Unless he's in Colorado for a long time, one would think the prosecution would wait until the witness returned to the area for his testimony. Or, you know, pay for a flight to get him on the stand. It is a murder trial.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Must read: Hidden Cause of Slow Internet and how to fix it
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.