This is Rodney Bradford. A few days ago, Facebook saved his 19-year-old life. Facebook and his status plea demanding the immediate consumption of the very basic food groups every human being needs to properly function in the morning: Pancakes.
Rodney was arrested on October 18 as a suspect in two crimes. He declared himself innocent and Robert Reuland — his defence lawyer — found the key to free him: "Where's my pancakes?"
That seemingly inconsequential Facebook status update proved crucial when the Californian company confirmed that someone wrote it from his father's Harlem apartment computer, using Rodney's username and password at around the time of the alleged crime: Saturday, October 17, 11.49am.
Of course, you can argue that anyone with Rodney's password could have written the status update, while the 19-year-old went on to commit two crimes, but his defence lawyer and the district attorney disagree:
This implies a level of criminal genius that you would not expect from a young boy like this; he is not Dr. Evil.
A spokesman for Brooklyn's District Attorney said the Facebook update served as the confirmation of the other alibis, namely Rodney's father and stepmother, who declared he was at their Harlem home at the time.
The most interesting thing in this case, however, is that this seems to be the first time in which social networking has been used to save the arse of someone, rather than nailing a really stupid thief. Some people believe that Facebook and other sites will become part of criminal cases across the country as they get deeper under society's skin. Personally, I can't wait till we are all monitored by automagical retinal scans, and naked bald people in funky swimming pools decide who is a criminal and who is not. Can't wait, I tell you. [Fort Greene]