Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Be Careful Who You Poke

Be Careful Who You Poke: "

In yet another case of blurring between the lines of virtual and reality, a woman broke the law for poking via Facebook! Shannon Jackson of Tennessee broke the law when she poked a contact on her Facebook list, by violating a restraining order.

The order specifically prohibits either telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner. Violation of a restraining order in Tennessee is a class A misdemeanor, punishable up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, as well as a fine up to $2500.

This does leave one big question on the table, however—if the plaintiff here felt so threatened by the defendant, why didn’t she block (a little-known option in the privacy settings) or at least de-friend her on Facebook? From what I can see, you can only poke friends (or possibly people on your network with public profiles). Yes, the accused is responsible and shouldn’t have poked her, but shouldn’t the plaintiff have taken steps to avoid contact if she was distressed enough by their interactions to get a restraining order?

What do you think? Should the perp here have known her poke counted as contact? Was she naive or hoping to subvert the court order?


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