Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Facebook contact a violation

The Clarion Content is fascinated by the lines drawn in and around the new world of social networking. We recently discovered that, as it turns out, one can be arrested for violating an order of protection by making Facebook contact. In a Tennessee case, which originally came to our attention via ABC news, a woman, Shannon Jackson of Hendersonville, Tenn., was arrested for violating a legal order of protection that had been previously filed against her when she sent a Facebook "poke" to another woman. Amazingly the judge ordered her arrest when the only basis for documenting the contact was a printed screen grab.

Violating an order of protection in Tennessee is a Class A misdemeanor that can be punished with up to 11 months, 29 days of incarceration. Even if the woman wins her case, she will be saddled with the expense of retaining a lawyer. ABC quotes an expert from the Stanford Law School's Center for Internet & Society, "Although 'poking' is a somewhat passive and new form of technology-enabled correspondence, it is still a form of communication restricted by a protective order."

The times, they are in flux.

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