27th Feb 2012

Be careful what you post

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Ged McMahon

A man from Cincinnati in the USA is currently posting daily apologies to his ex-wife on his Facebook page to avoid a 60-day jail term and a $500 fine. Mark Byron is making the apologies after a court ruled that he was in contempt of a protective order when he posted negative comments about his ex-wife in November last year. The protective order prohibited him from “causing the plaintiff or the child of the parties to suffer physical and/or mental abuse, harassment, annoyance or bodily injury”. This is what the offending post said:

“If you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband’s life and take your son’s father away from him completely — all you need to do is say you’re scared of your husband or domestic partner and they’ll take him away!”

While Byron’s ex-wife was blocked from viewing his profile page, she soon found out about the comments and reported them. And although Byron did choose the Facebook apologies over the jail term, he’s not necessarily happy about it. He has compared his original status update to talking to friends at the bar and the issue has raised questions about free speech.

What are your thoughts on the issue? Do you think Facebook comments should have such weight? Will this cause you to think twice about your own Facebook comments in the future?

 

Further information

Take a look at Ged's views on social media

US court gives choice of Facebook apology

Apologize to estranged wife on Facebook or go to jail





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