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Apparently tagging someone on Facebook can land you in jail, or, at least, this is what happened to an American woman that tagged her sister-in-law in a post in which she was insulting the woman. Because of an existing restraining order, the woman is now facing criminal charges.
Maria Gonzales decided to release her wrath on Facebook and publish a status update in which she was saying that she is over the mess endured with Maribel Calderon, her sister-in-law and her family. She also called them a “sad family” in the same update. Intentionally, or not, the woman tagged her ex-family member in the status leading Calderon to receive a notification.
Laws are starting to focus more and more on the virtual means of communication so Calderon presented the Facebook information in front of the court and Susan Capeci, the judge that presided the case sentenced Gonzales to a year in prison.
The judge motivated her sentence with the fact that the restraining order that Calderon had on Gonzales restricted any communication between the two parties, including electronic means. The fact that Maria Gonzales tagged the woman in the status update lead to a notification that appeared on Calderon’s private account and this is considered an attempt at communication.
The appeal that was filed was denied because the order clearly forbade any attempt of any nature at reaching the person who requested the restraining order, which includes Facebook posts, as well.
Gonzales is now facing criminal charges and a year in prison because of a Facebook status update. It seems that tagging someone on Facebook can land you in jail and make you famous at the same time.
Because of the continuous development of technology and the increased popularity of social media platforms, judges and jurors in America have begun to take very seriously any proof that originates from the virtual environments. This means that writing a hateful status update can bring you more than just some “unfriends” or rude commentaries, it could bring you in front of a judge.
The case of Gonzales will now be a point of reference for all future digressions that take place on a social media platform. A mean tweet will be considered valid proof, so will a personal message sent via Facebook Messenger that contains any violent or threatening language.
If tagging someone on Facebook can land you in jail, then all the billion users of social media sites all around the world will begin to think twice before poking a person, or commenting a photo or a status update.
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