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Facebook User Arrested For a Poke

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the criminalizing-the-annoying dept.

Social Networks 394

nk497 writes "A woman in Tennessee has been arrested for poking someone over Facebook. Sharon Jackson had been banned by courts from 'telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating' with the apparent poke recipient, but just couldn't hold back from clicking the 'poke' button. She now faces a sentence of up to a year in prison."

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394 comments

Duh, that's what a restraining order is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725921)

I hope she enjoys getting poked in the pokey.

Re:Duh, that's what a restraining order is (5, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725983)

I hope she enjoys getting poked in the pokey.

I don't think you understand the mechanics of lesbian sex...

Re:Duh, that's what a restraining order is (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726013)

I don't think you understand the mechanics of prison sex.

Re:Duh, that's what a restraining order is (-1, Redundant)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726075)

^^ Mod parent up ^^

Re:Duh, that's what a restraining order is (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726441)

I don't think you understand how many here understand mechanics way more than they understand sex.

Re:Duh, that's what a restraining order is (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726649)

I understand quantum sex.
 
No wait...

Re:Duh, that's what a restraining order is (-1, Flamebait)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726769)

Then please explain why one woman would bother penetrating another woman. You don't think prisons are co-ed, do you? Or that guards routinely rape female prisoners? Seriously, if one woman wants to make another woman her bitch, why would she finger fuck her? Why wouldn't she make the other woman eat her out, or scissor her, or finger her?

Re:Duh, that's what a restraining order is (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726311)

But isn't a poke something sexual anyway? I used to be member of a group called "Enough with poking, let's just have sex". Poking is not what it used to be...

Re:Duh, that's what a restraining order is (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726813)

But isn't a poke something sexual anyway? I used to be member of a group called "Enough with poking, let's just have sex". Poking is not what it used to be...

You sure about that? [wikipedia.org]

No communication is no communication. (5, Insightful)

log0n (18224) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725923)

The system works!

Re:No communication is no communication. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725977)

Agreed. Seems reasonable to me.

Re:No communication is no communication. (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725987)

Yep, not really news. Would "Woman with a Restraining Order Against Her Arrested for Calling and Hanging Up" make the front page? Even "Woman with a Restraining Order Against Her Arrested for Texting" wouldn't raise any eyebrows.

Re:No communication is no communication. (5, Insightful)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726061)

Yep, not really news. Would "Woman with a Restraining Order Against Her Arrested for Calling and Hanging Up" make the front page? Even "Woman with a Restraining Order Against Her Arrested for Texting" wouldn't raise any eyebrows.

It's not newsworthy that a restraining order was violated. It's newsworthy that law enforcement are looking at the violation regardless of the communication channel. It's one more step towards realizing we don't need to create new laws with "e-this, or cyber-that" to have them apply to Internet traffic.

Re: burden of proof / implications on free speech (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726147)

How can they be 100% sure it was the restrainee that did the poking?

(Yes, I'm serious.)

If restraining orders include Internet contact, then it means you can send someone to jail if you can forge a packet from their machine. That's really scary. Sure the restrainee shouldn't have done whatever they did to get the restraining order in the first place, but making it so anyone in the world can send them to jail seems excessive.

Also, what if they're both bidding on the same online auction? What if they're both Anonymous Cowards on /. ? What if they meet by accident on an online game? Does teabagging in Halo violate the restraining order?

Re: burden of proof / implications on free speech (5, Funny)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726239)

Does teabagging in Halo violate the restraining order?

Ah, the great questions of the universe...

Re: burden of proof / implications on free speech (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726253)

Dumb questions all answered by real life restraining order laws.

Re: burden of proof / implications on free speech (5, Insightful)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726267)

This doesn't mean they need to create new laws for "e-this, or cyber-that" just that they have to do due diligence to confirm the guilt of the accused.

Re: burden of proof / implications on free speech (5, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726335)

How can they be 100% sure it was the restrainee that did the poking?

(Yes, I'm serious.)

If restraining orders include Internet contact, then it means you can send someone to jail if you can forge a packet from their machine. That's really scary. Sure the restrainee shouldn't have done whatever they did to get the restraining order in the first place, but making it so anyone in the world can send them to jail seems excessive.

You'd be amazed with what you can do with a piece of paper, a typewriter, an envelope, and a stamp. Just because it involves the Internet, doesn't mean it's ground that hasn't been covered before.

Also, what if they're both bidding on the same online auction? What if they're both Anonymous Cowards on /. ? What if they meet by accident on an online game? Does teabagging in Halo violate the restraining order?

What if they're both submitting write-in bids to a well-established auction house? What if they're both writing commentary to their local newspaper? What if they're both competitive Scrabble players climbing through the ranks of the local Scrabble circuit? As for teabagging - that's the sort of immature behavior that leads to retraining orders as it is. Once again - this isn't scary or even all that novel. What's scary is that people will treat it as if it is.

Re: burden of proof / implications on free speech (2, Insightful)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726591)

I agree completely. Forgery, blackmail, fraud, all have existed since time immemorial. It gets more sophisticated, but not fundamentally different.

Re:No communication is no communication. (0, Redundant)

kabloom (755503) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726163)

I'd mod you up (and I have the mod points), but you're already at +5, so there's nothing I can do.

Re:No communication is no communication. (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726241)

Ever thought of running for office? Quite serious.

Re:No communication is no communication. (3, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726245)

Actually, I'm glad they had common sense here.

Would her updates appearing on his web page get her arrested for 'contacting' him? What about if he were subscribed to a mailing list or newsgroup that she posted in? What about if she had one of those Facebook apps that likes to spam send him a message saying something like, "I know a secret about you! Click here to learn it!"?

There are gray areas for technology, but this isn't one of them, unless the program 'poked' him automatically. Also, if they're still 'friends' on Facebook, the restraining order should be nullified.

Re:No communication is no communication. (0)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726731)

Also, if they're still 'friends' on Facebook, the restraining order should be nullified.

Likewise if she didn't change her phone number and move to a completely new residence the restraining order should be nullified. see how absurd that is when you apply it to the physical world.

The victim probably has so many friends she didn't think to remove the offender.

Re:No communication is no communication. (1)

fohat (168135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726019)

Poke someone and end up in the pokey!

Re:No communication is no communication. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726051)

If she really wanted to annoy this person, she should have gone the old school covert route of signing them up for news letters, catalogs, brochures, pamphlets, etc, going to the victims address. Then do the same electronically by going to every app download site, church, and political site and give them their email addy... evil yes, anonymous... not fully but close enough.

Curious question, does anyone else when downloading software that asks for an email address, give the company their own email address back to them? i.e. go to apple.com to download quicktime, they ask for a email address, and you give support@apple.com? Just wondering if I'm the only one that likes returning the spam to sender so directly...

Re:No communication is no communication. (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726269)

Sort of off-topic, but did you realize that the "e-mail address" field on the Quicktime download page is optional? And even if you did enter it, you can uncheck both boxes, and you won't receive e-mail anyway? It's not spam if you requested it.

Re:No communication is no communication. (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726279)

"...does anyone else when downloading software that asks for an email address, give the company their own email address back to them?"

They do now. Wonderful idea. Thanks.

Re:No communication is no communication. (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726655)

"...does anyone else when downloading software that asks for an email address, give the company their own email address back to them?" They do now. Wonderful idea. Thanks

No, they filter their address out. Now what you want to do is to keep a list of places you signed up for, and send them *that* address!

Re:No communication is no communication. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726871)

Kind of like download something at Ipswitch, give them support@apple.com, and then from Apple give them support@ipswitch.com? Good stuff.

Just need to find some email addresses that autorespond at 2 companies and sign them up for each other. Hehehe that makes me giggle. Malicious... perhaps, but you just helped a sysadmin keep his paycheck, lol.

Re:No communication is no communication. (4, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726331)

Is a poke really communication?

I'm thinking of people who send random pokes to their contact lists all the time, without any actual communication meaning to them.

Moreover... poking on Facebook only actually works if the person has added you as their friend.

If you went to court to get a no-contact order against someone else, why the heck would you add or keep them as your friend on facebook?

Everything status update, every message you post shows up as a communication to all your friends... so you're actually initiating contact with them!

Re:No communication is no communication. (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726685)

A "poke" is a lot more direct than a status update, you have to specifically initiate it, and you specifically direct it to a person.

But if it's really a poke, then I don't understand why they're still "friends".

Re:No communication is no communication. (2, Informative)

baka_toroi (1194359) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726745)

You don't need to be friends with someone to poke them.

Re:No communication is no communication. (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726885)

It doesn't appear that way to me... when I click on people in search listings there's an "Add as Friend" button, and a "Send a Message" button, but Poke is not a listed option.

Perhaps your account has been empowered in a way that most people's aren't?

Re:No communication is no communication. (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726849)

Perhaps.. some folks go down their list and click random pokes on everyone though, or use a script to do the same, it's not necessarily discriminate, and the system-generated messages are automated, not produced by a human.
Maybe it's direct... then: If I (or someone with access to my account) randomly pokes you on FB, what does it mean? Can one really make a case that i've communicated something to you in that case? (other than the contrived case of a 'no contact' demand)

Status updates actually convey a meaningful message, normally -- that is, you can say something with a status update. Poke was just a funny little widget FB implemented that doesn't really convey any actual message, they of course have a "send a message" option, but that is a bit different..

If someone's subjected to a no-contact order, what's next... putting people in jail for rating up their comment on youtube, commenting on their video, modding up their post on /.?

I mean.. think about it.. these types of activities also generally result in the party receiving some sort of automated message from a computer (just like a poke causes).

I suppose in most cases the probability of it occuring accidentally would be small (What are the random chances of a person coming across their ex'es Youtube video, or slashdot comment, unless they knew their current handle and were _searching_ for it?).. but still doesn't detract from the nature of the event being mechanical, not actually passing a message, and could be done with no intent to violate an order that only said "no contact".

Re:No communication is no communication. (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726755)

Is a poke really communication?

I'm thinking of people who send random pokes to their contact lists all the time, without any actual communication meaning to them.

Moreover... poking on Facebook only actually works if the person has added you as their friend.

If you went to court to get a no-contact order against someone else, why the heck would you add or keep them as your friend on facebook?

Everything status update, every message you post shows up as a communication to all your friends... so you're actually initiating contact with them!

In the case of two friends it might be completely meaningless. In the case of someone with a restraining order against the other: what do you think? Look if you're so careless that you "accidently" communicate, in any way, with someone which has a restraining order against you, then I hope the judge hands out at least one implied facepalm. [roflposters.com]

Re:No communication is no communication. (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726867)

If you went to court to get a no-contact order against someone else, why the heck would you add or keep them as your friend on facebook?

Everything status update, every message you post shows up as a communication to all your friends... so you're actually initiating contact with them!

This. Why /was/ the plaintiff still a Facebook friend with the defendant?

The defendant is still somewhat culpable (why, too, was she friended with the other?) but it's not hard to disallow any communication from another Facebook user. I've set my account to deny access to & not be searchable by this idiot who threatened me with meatspace violence because the stupid meathead didn't understand acceptable behavior.

Please Excuse the TECHNICAL ERROR (1)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726651)

It was just a mistake ... the "Report Abuse" functionality was incorrectly sending incidents to local Police offices. It's been fixed now.

Hahaha (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725937)

Stupid people & social networks.

The current generation of people will soon realize they have no privacy because of these kinds of sites.

So now she'll spend some time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725949)

...in the pokey?

First POKE! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29725969)

POKE! POKE! POKE!

Re:First POKE! (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726503)

Makes you wonder if the reason for the restraining order was for peeking [wikipedia.org] .

Ok, and? (4, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725973)

A person had a protective order that was allegedly violated. That user was arrested and is getting their due process. News at 11.

Re:Ok, and? (3, Funny)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726053)

But it's got a "Web 2.0" social site involved, so it must be New! and Exciting!.

Re:Ok, and? (1)

Lxy (80823) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726439)

That's why I stick to the tried and true Web 1.0. You know the old, boring web where "cool" was writing a submission script in perl.

Re:Ok, and? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726801)

But it's got a "Web 2.0" social site involved, so it must be New! and Exciting!.

Actually, was the poke performed via IE? We could also discuss evil Microsoft business practices here while we're at it.

redefining "pokie" (0)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725981)

redefining "pokie"....as in, she's spending some quality time in the state/county pokie.

still....a "poke" on facebook is synonymous to a wave in a public place. Technically it is a form of communicating but I think it's overkill.
Besides...don't we have bigger fish to fry?

Re:redefining "pokie" (2, Informative)

rev_media (973772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726071)

I would say it's closer to leaving them a voicemail. That's not really the issue though. Would you or I wave to someone in a public place after a court issues a no contact order? I sure as hell wouldn't. There's something wrong with that woman.

Re:redefining "pokie" (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726127)

still....a "poke" on facebook is synonymous to a wave in a public place.

Is it? The article also claims "It's the digital equivalent of waving at someone from across a crowded room.", but I disagree, in this context. The only reason we might think it wrong if she was arrested for a wave is because it's far less clear - a wave might be misinterpretted, perhaps she did it automatically seeing someone she knew, before remembering, or perhaps it was directed at someone else nearby.

None of these things apply to a Facebook "poke" - it's quite intentional, and quite clearly directed. There's no gray area here, and so doesn't have the same cause for concern as someone being arrested over a wave.

Besides...don't we have bigger fish to fry?

Well, we don't know the circumstances of the restraining order.

Re:redefining "pokie" (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726275)

Or she accidentally clicked "poke". Obviously far-fetched, but going to jail for a single accidental mouse click is scary stuff.

Re:redefining "pokie" (4, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726305)

You have to confirm pokes. TWO random accidental mouse clicks is highly improbable.

Re:redefining "pokie" (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726807)

I bet it was really her cat.

Re:redefining "pokie" (4, Insightful)

dark_requiem (806308) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726291)

I wouldn't say it's equivalent to a wave in a public place. A wave is directional. You could always claim you were waving to someone else. A Facebook poke is far more directed and specific. It's more like walking up to someone in a crowd and saying "I see you." There's the issue of this being far more direct and obvious a form of communication. If this can be substantiated by facebook, I'd say it's perfectly reasonable to say she violated a protective order.

In an interview (4, Funny)

tecnico.hitos (1490201) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725989)

Interviewer: Ms. Jackson, how have been your life since you was prohibited from comunicating?

Sharon Jackson: ...

Re:In an interview (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726077)

Hey, interviewer, that's just mean.

Ms. Jackson was prohibited from communicating for being an overzealous grammar nazi.

Heavy-handed? (0)

vivin (671928) | more than 4 years ago | (#29725997)

I guess a 'poke' falls under the broad category of "communicating". But it still seems a little heavy-handed. Even then, I guess she should've known better.

Re:Heavy-handed? (3, Insightful)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726285)

Heavy-handed? No. If you've got a restraining order against you, you shouldn't be trying to push boundaries like that.

Re:Heavy-handed? (4, Insightful)

Zordak (123132) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726635)

I don't think it's heavy-handed. You generally have to do some persistent and crazy stuff to get a restraining order, so nerves are already pretty raw. Think of it like walking up to somebody and giving them the finger right in their face. It's stupid and obnoxious in any case (and yes, I think the Facebook "Poke" feature is always stupid and obnoxious), but what might be a mildly annoying jab when directed at a good friend could be a much bigger deal when done by a crazy stalker, crazy ex-, or whatever. In other words, you made yourself a persistent nuisance. A judge ordered you to stop on threat of fine or imprisonment. Flouting that court order, you got on Facebook and "poke" your victim, essentially saying, "You're still on my radar." I don't think it's terribly heavy-handed to punish the offender according to the terms of the restraining order.

And she should get a year (5, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726007)

There is a restraining order in force that says "no contact". No contact on a restraining order means just that...NO contact. Just because its a "poke" doesn't mean it doesn't count. Haul her stupid ass in and make her face what ever consequences were specified in the original order.

No sympathy what so ever. The stupid deserve what they get.

Re:And she should get a year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726175)

Blame the victum

Re:And she should get a year (1)

Simulant (528590) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726207)

The stupid deserve what they get.

Yes, and if you are too stupid to un-friend the person you have a restraining order against, perhaps you deserve a poke.

Re:And she should get a year (3, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726299)

I definitely would not unfriend them. If "Sharon poked you!" is a violation then I'm not confident that "Sharon unfriended you!" is different.

Then again, if you don't unfriend her, everything you do shows up on her feed (right? I don't use facebook), which is even worse. I guess I'd stay away from the facebook account.

Re:And she should get a year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726539)

No no, you are confused. It would say "You unfriended Sharon", which is a bit different from "Sharon unfriended you".

Re:And she should get a year (1)

JeffAMcGee (950264) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726587)

Facebook doesn't send a notification when you unfriend someone. Either one of them could have (and should have) unfriended the other one.

Re:And she should get a year (3, Informative)

Zordak (123132) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726695)

"Un-friending" them wouldn't be a problem because FB doesn't notify people that you have "unfriended" them. And it's irrelevant, because FB lets you "poke" people who aren't your friends.

Re:And she should get a year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726727)

since when does facebook announce unfriending?

Re:And she should get a year (3, Insightful)

RalphSleigh (899929) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726791)

I just checked, they could be unfriended, but if they both remain in the same public network (city usually) then they can still view profile/poke. Unless ofcourse there is some way of blocking a person completely that would override this.

Re:And she should get a year (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726319)

Why would you "friend" someone on Facebook if you have a no contact order against them though? I did a quick try and you can not poke people who haven't "friended" you.

Re:And she should get a year (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726709)

I did a quick try and you can not poke people who haven't "friended" you.

You can if they share their profile publicly.

Its too obvious... (4, Funny)

confuto (1453393) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726021)

That last poke pushed the "victim" over the edge!

court order (4, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726037)

The court order prohibited communication between the two directly or indirectly. A poke is a form of communication that was recognised by the court as being in violation of the order. The order its self could be wrong but the interpretation of the poke as being a form of communication and thus breaching the court order is correct.

Good (5, Insightful)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726045)

Restraining orders aren't jokes. If the poker really was the person subject to the restraining order (and not someone else spoofing), she deserves whatever punishment would have come her way if she had telephoned, dropped by in person, or in any other, more conventional way, violated the order.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726337)

If the poker really was the person subject to the restraining order (and not someone else spoofing),

This is the only part of it that would concern me. They DO have proof that the person who did the poke was in fact the one subject to the restraining order I hope? (Although in this case it would take someone hacking into the restraining ordered person's account, and willingly adding the other person to the contact list (If someone had a retraining order on ME the first thing I'd do is remove them from my contact lists to make damned sure I don't accidentally send them so much as a "hi".)

But then this is also why apps like that should require both people being on each others contacts list for a poke to go through. IF that is already the case - WHY THE FUCK WOULD THE PERSON COMPLAINING HAVE THEM ON THEIR CONTACT LIST? Granted, that's IF. I don't use facebook enough to know. But regardless this would be a good time for Facebook to make damned sure you can only poke mutual friends if it's not already set up that way.

all i have to say is (-1)

loafula (1080631) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726065)

omg, wtf! lol!

can't find her (1)

Punto (100573) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726069)

am I the only one who went to facebook and was disappointed when the "filter by location" thing returned on results on Sharon Jackson from tennessee? I wanted to poke her (can you even poke random people who aren't your "friends"? I don't even know, this is the first time I intentionally go to facebook hoping I'll find something interesting there)

Re:can't find her (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726349)

I wanted to poke her (can you even poke random people who aren't your "friends"?>

I tried just now and you can not poke the "unfriended".

I tried to "poke" my sister and asked her to check it since we aren't "friends" and it didn't work.

Re:can't find her (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726581)

I tried to "poke" my sister...

Haven't we all!

Re:can't find her (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726747)

You can poke at least some people with public profiles, even if they're not your friends. I just found a random guy with a common name who is not my friend, and his "poke" feature is sitting there.

In my day... (5, Funny)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726081)

a poke got you infinite lives, not arrested. /get off my 8-bit lawn

Re:In my day... (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726377)

a poke got stuck in a ball and used in a "Cockfighting" League.

I'll get off your lawn now.

Re:In my day... (3, Funny)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726573)

Oh, the flat lightgreen space next to the white rectangle with a black isosceles triangle on top? Sorry, I thought your house was a rocket. My bad, I'll stop trying to pick it up now.

there's nothing noteworthy about this story (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726097)

it's only "newsworthy" because it involves a new technology. examine the underlying issues: a woman is prevented legally from contacting another woman. she does so. so she faces jail time. beginning and end of story

what does it matter HOW she contacted the other person? knock on door? pen and paper? ham radio? smoke signals? would the communication channel change any of the issues here? not in the least. and yet its all over the press, front page slashdot. why? because it involves facebook. huh?

let me make my point another way: "videogames make people violent." complete bullshit, right?

in fact, overall societal violence has gone DOWN in the years since videogames have grown in use. and its not like the ancient romans were peaceful pastoral sheep farmers who knew nothing of this fancy modern invention called "violence". there simply is no causative connection between videogame use (the new scary unknown technology) and violence. if anything, violent videogames are cathartic and substitute for real world violence. and yet, the fact that the columbine shooters played doom is supposed to be instructive to us

its not instructive about anything. millions played doom and didn't start walking around the world like it was a fps. 99.99% of us have a pretty strong ability to tell the difference between fantasy and reality. the 0.01% who can't tell the difference between reality and violence might be set off by doom, but if doom never existed, something else would set them off: their psychology is the causative agent, not the videogame. mankind has been been clubbing each other over the head since before we could even talk, never mind invented writing or media of any kind

people have a tendency to look at new technology and see in it the origins of ancient sins. its a strange bias, and i don't understand it, but its a very real phenomenon. and its not a "media" created phenomenon (at the risk of getting recursive in my argument). the idea sells: people really believe this causative connection between new media and ancient sins, for some reason i don't understand why

This is an excellent example of law & tech... (1)

autocracy (192714) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726145)

Existing law covered new technology. It doesn't have to have a "cyber stalking" law. It was still harassment... same as mailing a postcard or leaving a sticky note.

Proven Guilty? (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726101)

TFA didn't imply that the accuser furnished any actual proof of this. Is facebook required to hand over their "poke logs"?

1) File a restraining order
2) Download Firebug and alter web page
3) ??
4) Proof-it

Re:Proven Guilty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726155)

only if it becomes an issue i.e d raises it..

Re:Proven Guilty? (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726405)

You seem to imply that you read TFA, but you clearly didn't; half of the first page is spent on the accused's lawyer stating the following:

- The only evidence thus far is a screen grab
- They're working with Facebook to get some concrete evidence

Therefore, you've proven you didn't read TFA despite implying you did ;)

Furthermore, it's unclear whether said screen grab was from the victim's own computer, or if someone else took the screen grab. (I don't use Facebook; can you see pokes on other people's accounts?)

Re:Proven Guilty? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726525)

- The only evidence thus far is a screen grab

How would that be different from the victim photographing the stalker? Should we just dismiss all complaints where there are no live witnesses? IMO in this situation a screen grab is all a typical user can reasonably do, and if the case goes to trial the image should be looked at, and either accepted or rejected by the court, just as any other evidence. There are probably many ways to tell who the screen (or computer) belongs to, especially if the same computer is available for comparison.

Okay... (4, Informative)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726221)

I admit I don't know what this woman did exactly to get the restraining order, but I've been a victim of harassment. Even though a Facebook poke is a pretty negligible sort of contact, the psychological toll is takes on who she is being barred from communicating with could still be pretty great. I know that just seeing a photo of the person who was doing things to me was enough to make my pulse race and my stomach churn. Poking someone on Facebook after a restraining order tells the victim, "I still have ways to get to you." I'm glad she's being prosecuted.

raises the question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726343)

What about some automatic ticker thing. Or just a facebook update that gets sent to the front page of that person who has a restraining order (but still friended with) against the updater?

Ok .. so who did it? (1, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726353)

(Playing devil's advocate here)

Yes we all agree that the woman should get locked up for breaching a restraining order .. IF SHE DID IT.

The question I have is how do you prove this?

She could have simply been stalking her victim on facebook and her cat walked across the keyboard at an inappropriate moment et voila one cat induced restraining order breach.

Any number of things from another household member to a hacked computer could have done this, so what is the level of proof required to lock her away. I hope that it is not just "well she says she didn't do it, but she was in the house with the computer at the time - just forget the fact that other people were in the same house as well".

Re:Ok .. so who did it? (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726803)

Facebook is not unique in providing unreasonable "what if..." scenarios on why the offender "might be" innocent. "What if it was actually a burglar who broke into my house and called her house and hung up?" "What if it was actually my long-lost twin, separated at birth, who knocked on her door?" "What if that hand written letter was actually somebody forging my handwriting to frame me?" The law can never deal in absolute certainties

Problem with this scenario (1)

hrmmmguy99 (1655259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726373)

The problem with this scenario is in order to "poke" someone on facebook, you have to be on their friends list. If this person was that concerned about having any contact with their stalker, why was the stalker on their friends list? Don't get me wrong -- I don't think the lady should have "poked" this person or otherwise had any contact with the person. But my question is still valid.

Something doesn't make sense (1)

Shimmer (3036) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726381)

Facebook only allows you to poke your friends, right? With a restraining order in place, how did these two have such a relationship in the first place?

Re:Something doesn't make sense (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726479)

I don't know the details but it could be that the two were friends at one point and did not bother to unfriend each other.

Re:Something doesn't make sense (1, Insightful)

shimage (954282) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726597)

If I could bother to get a restraining order against someone I would sure as fuck bother to unfriend them. No reason to still be friends with someone you have a restraining order against.

thought you could only poke a friend ? (2, Interesting)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726399)

I thought you could only poke a friend, which would mean they both agreed to add each other and thus allow interaction. If the facebook friendship was initiated before the initial court order wouldn't that require that it be ended by both parties and the act of keeping it would mean there was an agreement between both parties ? That's sorta like getting a restraining order and continuing to live with the person you had teh order againts.

The obvious question? (2)

atmurray (983797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726419)

Wouldn't you BLOCK a person on facebook before getting a restraining order out on them? However, I don't disagree with this decision at all, and strongly agree with the previous comment:

Yep, not really news. Would "Woman with a Restraining Order Against Her Arrested for Calling and Hanging Up" make the front page? Even "Woman with a Restraining Order Against Her Arrested for Texting" wouldn't raise any eyebrows.

It's not newsworthy that a restraining order was violated. It's newsworthy that law enforcement are looking at the violation regardless of the communication channel. It's one more step towards realizing we don't need to create new laws with "e-this, or cyber-that" to have them apply to Internet traffic.

Please rename the headline to- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726523)

People just wake up in the morning and think about who they can get a restraining order against. In fact most people who are a general nuisance or annoyance we don't get one against either. It's only the people who have pushed us to the edge that we do. In my state (WA)
it is actually really hard to get a restraining order. You have to have proof of threats or actual violence. If someone just peed on your doorstep, keyed your car, etc you can't get one. So these things are quite a serious matter in some places. I once had a crazy ex-gf who did property damage to my vehicles. When the judge asked me if she ever had threatened to injure or kill me and when i said no he dismissed my petition against her! So this is no "Facebook poke". It's someone abusing a common medium of conversation to try to incite the other person into anger/frustration or a similar emotional state.

The topic really should be renamed to "Tennessee women arrested for breaking restraining order via Facebook". It would be accurate unlike the sensationalist journalism that occurred in this topic.

weak evidence (1)

anonymous9991 (1582431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726647)

evidence was a screen capture? you know how easy it is to create fake screens, most people with any photoshop like app and html can do one in an hour

Why is this news? (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726719)

Such restraining orders may or may not be justified or reasonable, but she clearly violated the order. I don't see that the fact that a "Facebook poke" was involved is relevant.

ya know... (-1, Offtopic)

phunhippy (86447) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726899)

that is poketastic

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