George Zimmerman’s defense team launches social media campaign

George Zimmerman’s defense team has launched a social media campaign to combat false rumors and raise money for their client.

On a newly branded “GZLegalCase” Twitter account, a Facebook page and a new Web site, the legal team tracks the latest developments surrounding the high-profile prosecution. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara said Zimmerman would plead not guilty.

A post on the Web site acknowledges the rarity of a legal defense team maintaining a social media presence for a client, but it says the case calls for unusual measures and that there is a need to establish “the credibility of official digital properties that the media and the public can trust as the official voice for what is legitimate and what is not.”

The social media campaign is the latest move by the O’Mara Law Group to help improve Zimmerman’s image after a tumultuous few months in the court of public opinion. Earlier this month, Zimmerman set up his own unpolished Web site to solicit funds for himself.

That site was shut down last week, just days before the legal team launched GzLegalCase.com. On Friday, the Associated Press reported that while shutting down the site, his lawyers learned from Zimmerman the site raised more than $200,000 — a fact that was not disclosed when they told the judge overseeing Zimmerman’s case that Zimmerman would have trouble raising money for his bond.

As of Monday afternoon, the new Facebook page had 961 ‘likes’ and the Twitter page 728 followers. It will take donations for Zimmerman’s defense fund.

On Friday, the law firm posted a Reuters story on Zimmerman, and asked people, “What is your response to the Chris Francescani piece ‘George Zimmerman: Prelude to a shooting?’” That same day a status update asked, “What are your thoughts abut the revelation of the $200,000 from Zimmerman's PayPay [sic] accounts?” Hundreds of people responded with both supportive and negative comments.

On the Twitter feed, the legal team solicited help in finding scam sites that purport to speak for Zimmerman, responding with thanks to people who pointed out such sites.

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