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Instant Jury - The Court of Public Opinion

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David Silversmith
David Silversmith

Take your friends to court to tell your side of the story - while a public jury will vote on who's right! You can also help others settle their squabbles by joining a jury and weighing in.

Instant Jury is the place to air that dirty laundry against meddling roommates, controlling girlfriends, and anyone else who deserves it. Now, using the court of public opinion you might be able to resolve the issue. Users of the InstantJury site choose a username, give their case a name and description, and then list the stakes—lunch, for example and your defendant will be subpoenaed via e-mail. At that point, you each have 24 hours to make your arguments and counterarguments, and then the InstantJury community weighs in to determine who’s right and who’s wrong.

Instant Jury is based on an interesting premise: allow the public to become web-based jurors and settle disputes by casting their own votes in favor of either the plaintiff or the defendant. Potential jurors can search for interesting cases by category and then vote for their choice in any of the cases. Jury members can leave comments in the forum that is opened for each and every case.  The jury has to be made up of at least three interested visitors; if fewer than seven votes are received, the site's resident "judge" gets the final say.

Check out this video on how Instant Jury works:

Cases are grouped by category, and these include “Family Fights”, “Neighbors” and “Property Disputes” along with others such as “Fantasy Sports” and two named “Who’s Better” and “Who’s Wrong”. Moreover, cases can be visualized by context - tabs reading “Ending Soon”, “Cold Cases” and “Hall OF Shame” are provided.

“I love Instant Jury because when my friends and I are arguing about something stupid I can just take them to to prove I am right,” says Andy Knapp, a frequent Instant Jury user quoted in the Instant Jury Blog. “It gives me bragging rights because I can say everyone else agreed with me.”

Dispute resolution, courtesy of the crowd is pretty fun.  Though Instant Jury needs to advertise more to get more traffic to really make the site a winner.  Obviously you can also contact all your friends to stack the deck - but that is part of the fun of any social media site. In real life jury tampering may be a crime, but with Instant Jury it's part of the fun.

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