Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Facebook Lesson #13: A "Poke" Could Send You To the Pokey

I've given up saying, "Now I've seen it all" because of stories like this one. Last month, Shannon D. Jackson of Hendersonville, TN was arrested for "poking" an acquaintance on Facebook. Although "poking" sounds like something Larry Dallas might do, it's normally harmless. It's basically the online equivalent of saying "what's up?!"

I said "normally harmless" because if a person slaps you with a restraining order, "poking" them could get you fitted with a bright orange jumpsuit. According to police, Jackson is accused of using the "poke" option on Facebook to contact Dana Hannah (also of Hendersonville), thus violating the terms of the order of protection, which stipulates "no telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner."

Violating an order of protection qualifies as a misdemeanor, and can carry a sentence of up to one year in jail, as well as a maximum fine of $2,500.

ABC News video:

Woman arrested for Facebook Poke

Although Ms. Jackson's situation looks bleak at the moment, she could easily turn things around:

Write a best-selling memoir

Make a tearful appearance on Oprah

Have her memoir adapted into a Lifetime movie of the week starring Heather Locklear


Jenna said...

You know, it does sound completely ridiculous, but it's fair play. If she has a restraining order against you, you don't contact her, period. Why the hell the girl with the court order didn't defriend this person in the first place is what concerns me.

Candy Minx said...

Yep, stalkers don't get it. They don't get restraining orders. So as soon as I heard this story I guessed there must be some kind of restraining order against the person.

Oh dear. It sounds like nothing unless you've ever had someone harrassing you online then it is a terrible feeling.

Candy Minx said...

p.s. I loved your humour here Malcolm though and I did enjoy all the options for turning lemons into lemonade etc...

Jessica The Rock Chick said...

After much ado, stakeouts and serious amount of fear, we finally got my daughter's stalker arrested and convicted of two misdemeanor crimes. One was for Criminal Damage to Auto and the other for Harassment Via Electronic Device, for which she was awarded a no contact order. He's on probation right now, but I swear to you, if he even so much as Facebook poked her at this point, he'd wish he was only going to jail.

Jessica said...

Um, seriously...

X. Dell said...

Well, she wasn't really arrested for poking, but rather violating a restraining order. FB only served as a tool, but it could have easily be done in other ways.

Malcolm said...

Jenna: I was wondering the same thing about the lady who didn't defriend the accused.

Candy: Good call on your part. The restraining order angle didn't even occur to me until I read the story.

I'm glad you enjoyed my humorous wrap up to the post. Although stalking is obviously serious business, I thought I would lighten the mood a bit because a Facebook "poke" was the center of the story.

Jessica the Rock Chick: I've seen your catboots... the guy who harassed your daughter would be wise to back the fuck off.

Jessica: I doubt if the lady will see any jail time. I won't be surprised if the fine is reduced as well.

X. Dell: True, but this should serve as a precautionary tale that any type of Internet contact falls under the terms of protection.

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