4 cases that show how your Facebook activity can take you to jail (and how to avoid it)


A message posted on Facebook was enough for the controversial pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli to lose his bail, despite having paid US $ 5 million for it.

Through the social network, Shkreli – “the most hated man in the United States” for raising the price of a drug by 5,000% – offered to pay a reward of US $ 5,000 to someone who brought him a lock of hair from the ex-candidate. Presidential Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Judge Kiyo Matsumoto ordered Shkreli behind bars. He considered that his message constituted a danger for the citizenship and was “a proposal of aggression in exchange for money  .

His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said they were disappointed with the court decision and Shkreli argued it was a joke.

However, this is not the first time that a Facebook user ends up in jail for making inappropriate use of the social network.

These are some cases of people in different parts of the world who ended up behind bars after publishing something they should not.

1. The case of Joanne Fraill (or the dangerous “friends”)

One of the most notorious cases in the United Kingdom occurred six years ago, in June 2011, when the British jury Joanne Fraill, contacted a defendant through Facebook, causing the annulment of the case. She was sentenced to eight months in prison.

Joanne FrailCopyright of the imageREUTERS
Image captionJoanne Frail admitted to having contacted a defendant through Facebook and spent eight months in prison.

The jury said that the empathy led her to locate Jamie Sewart – accused in a drug trial – on the social network and sent her a request for “friendship . 

It was the first case in the country in which a person was convicted for their Internet activities.

“I regret everything.” She contacted me, “My mind was a whirlwind, I had just been declared innocent.” When I reflected on it, I realized I had to report it and I did, “Sewart said as he left the courtroom.

2. María González and her ex-wife (or why not “tag” who you should not)

In January 2016, María González, a woman living in the United States, was arrested for “labeling” her ex-wife, Maribel Calderón, in two Facebook posts calling her “stupid” and assuring that she and her family are “sad people.”

According to the New York Post , the Justice Court of Westchester County, in New York, USA, considered that González violated a protection order filed in favor of her ex-wife, related to the divorce between González and her brother. of Calderón, Rafael, and that he forbade him to contact his family.

Gonzalez was sentenced to one year in prison .

Judicial sources said that the publications on Facebook are also punishable and she decided not to appeal the sentence.

3. The child in the window (or the desperate search for “I like”)

In June of this year, a court in Algeria sentenced a man to two years in prison for uploading a photo to Facebook showing how he hung a child through a window in exchange for “likes”.

Photo of boy hanging by the window posted on FacebookCopyright of the imageFACEBOOK
Image captionJustice sentenced to two years in prison the man who hung the child out the window (and published it on Facebook)
“1,000 I like it or I’ll let it fall” was the title that gave the photo.

Several users of the social network demanded his arrest for child abuse. The man was accused of endangering the safety of the child, despite ensuring that the balcony had “protective barriers.”

Other scandals for publishing inappropriate photos have also ended in jail terms.

In New Zealand, a young man was sentenced to five weeks in prison in 2010 for posting pictures of his naked girlfriend, accompanied by insults.

4. The “ok” of Patnaree Chankij (or Facebook messages and politics)

This case happened in Thailand but it went around the world.

Patnaree Chankij arrives at a military court in Bangkok (1 August 2016)Copyright of the imageAFP
Image captionPatnaree Chakij, wrote “ok” on Facebook and was accused of high treason to the Thai monarchy.

Patnaree Chankij, 40, was arrested in May 2016 by the police and charged with the crime of lese majeste and high treason for insulting the monarchy, one of the most serious charges in the Thai criminal code.

Everything happened for responding to an exchange of private messages on Facebook with the Thai word “ja”, which can be translated as “ok” or “yes”, to comments by a political activist that the police described as defamatory .

According to the police, she should have condemned them, although she suspects that it was an excuse to stop her, because her son leads a dissident student movement.

Shortly after, at the end of January of this year, there was another similar case. A man was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for posting “defamatory” comments on Facebook against the Thai monarchy.

Come Sopheap escorted by the policeCopyright of the imageGETTY IMAGES
Image captionVen Sopheap (in the center of the image), 27, was sentenced to prison in Cambodia for a Facebook post.

But not only happens in Thailand.

In Myanmar, the poet Maung Saungkha, also went to jail in 2016 for a comment on Facebook mocking the president of the country.

And in Cambodia, a 27-year-old youth was sentenced to two years in prison last February for threatening Prime Minister Hun Sen on the social network.

7 ways to use Facebook properly so you do not get involved in a criminal case

  1. If you have a friend in a judicial process, do not write a message on Facebook asking about the case.
  2. Do not get in touch with any of the jurors.
  3. Do not post messages saying you know the accused. Everyone is innocent until proven otherwise.
  4. In fact, do not comment on defendants, victims or witnesses.
  5. If you are in a trial, do not look for the story about the case .
  6. Do not contact the defendant on Facebook to tell him that you are on his side.
  7. Preg slather if any of your actions on social networks could influence a case . Journalists know the limits and receive legal advice. If you have not already done so, this may be a good reason to do so.
About author
Profile photo of Rava Desk

Rava Desk

Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *