Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Criminal Poking

Normally I try to keep this blog on the topic of copyrights and trademarks, but occasionally I will find something so fascinating or so funny that I feel compelled to post.

This time it's how social networking can land you in jail.

I'm a big fan of Facebook. (here's me: http://www.facebook.com/VincentTLyon)
I just read 2 stories where Facebook users got arrested as a result of their activities there.
The first is from last month. Seems one Jonathan G. Parker decided to break into a neighbor's house and see if there was anything worth stealing. Apparently there was, as 2 diamond rings went missing.
How are we so sure Mr. Parker was the thief? While inside the victim's house he decided to use her computer to check his Facebook page. Facebook addiction is pretty pervasive, but come on. Focus on your work a little!
So Mr. Parker for whatever reason had enough of Facebooking in the victim's house, grabbed the rings and left before anyone got home to catch him.
But he left the computer on, and left himself logged into Facebook.
Victim comes home, discovers her home has been broken into, sees drawers and cabinets left open, sees the computer on, calls the police. Having access to his Facebook profile they quickly identify and arrest him.
That just falls in the stupid criminals file.

The next is far more interesting to me.
A woman has been arrested for "poking" someone on Facebook.
The story so far hasn't told us what their previous relationship was, but apparently it got so bad that Dana Hannah had a restraining order against Shannon Jackson. The Order prohibited Ms. Jackson from contacting or communicating with Ms. Hannah at all. Ms. Hannah must have really had problems with Ms. Jackson to get this order issued.
Then what does Ms. Jackson do? She "pokes" Ms. Hannah on Facebook.
Well, that seems like a contact or communication (is that what it is? I've never understood poking on Facebook) so Ms. Hannah calls the police. Boom. Ms. Jackson finds herself in jail for anywhere up to a year just for clicking the poke button.

One weird detail to consider: You can only "poke" friends. If Ms. Hannah had such a bad experience with Ms. Jackson that she had the restraining order issued, why didn't she remove her from her friends list? We may never know.

Read the story for yourself.

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