Teen Who Used Facebook Images To Rank Looks Of Female Classmates, Arrested For 'Disorderly Conduct'

from the facemash? dept

For anyone who's seen The Social Network or is familiar with the history and lore of Facebook, you know that prior to starting Facebook, Zuckerberg got in a bit of trouble for creating "Facemash," which took photos of students from various online "facebooks" around Harvard, put two of them together, and let people vote on who was hotter. So it's interesting to hear that a teenager in suburban Chicago has been arrested for using Facebook to do something similar with is own classmates:
A teenager who allegedly ranked females in a list on Facebook by their physical appearance has been arrested, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune.

The 17-year-old, whose name isn't being released because he's a minor, is a former student of Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park, Ill., and the girls he is accused of ranking in the list include former classmates, the Tribune said.

Oak Park Police believe he not only created the "offensive list" but also was responsible for circulating it online, the report said. The teen was arrested Monday at home and is being charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, the Tribune said.
While I agree that this may have been a real jerk move by the kid, it's hard to see how this should be an arrestable offense. Disorderly conduct seems like a ridiculous charge here. How is being a jerk online "disorderly conduct"?


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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2011 @ 9:58am

    That's insane. I'm wondering of one of the ranked females happens to be the daughter of a police officer.

     

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    william (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 9:59am

    what is the definition for disorderly conduct anyways.

    I am starting to feel that this is some kind of loophole that the police can use to temporarily arrest anyone they don't approve. If they don't like you walking around the the street, they'll bust you with disorderly conduct, then let you go without a charge later after it hit the maximum holding time without a charge.

    I mean, after all, walking in a zig-zag way on a side walk can be viewed as a disorderly conduct...

     

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      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 11:08am

      Re:

      What if the sidewalks zig-zag and you walk straight?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2011 @ 11:15am

      Re:

      I was arrested for DO for not walking fast enough. Im pretty sure it was actually because the officer had short man syndrome and tried checking my into a wall and bounced off of me without moving me.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2011 @ 10:05am

    What a fine use of public resources

    Now that all of Chicago's unsolved murders have been dealt with, gang violence completely eliminated, rapes and assault entirely quashed, it's a fine idea for police officers to make up nonsensical charges against a minor and spend taxpayer resources prosecuting those.

    Oh, I'm sorry...I forgot. Chicago cops are paid by the mob and the dealers and the gangs, no taxpayer funds were used. Never mind.

     

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    Nathan F (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    So I guess the owner/operators of all those Hot or Not websites should be arrested also? The only remote difference I could see would be that the girls this boy was sorting are potentially minors, but even then if he got the images off their facebook pages that were publicly available *shrug*.

    First blush sounds like a very bad case of overreaction.

     

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      DannyB (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 11:35am

      Are the Hot or Not websites showing pictures of people without their consent?

       

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        Nathan F (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

        Re:

        If that picture is available as a publicly posted picture that anyone can view and or grab, does it matter? Remember, this boy is simply taking a public picture and asking for someone's opinion about it. Statements of opinion are protected speech.

         

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          AnonX, May 13th, 2011 @ 3:57pm

          Re: Re:

          The photos could have limited rights. Copyright always stays with the creator of the content. Registration of copyright is needed for legal reward, but copyright could potentially be used...

          Any of the girls could claim copyright over their photos, but Facebook asks for the rights in their terms of service before posting. Alternative uses could be copyright infringement. Facebook's right to use does not protect it against the outside use by others. There is no means of giving up a copyright and even Creative Commons has been argued as ineffective by some companies in court.

          A photo is not speech and could definitely be claimed as a digital good. The content of the boys commentary protects him. Facebook contributed to improper use of the digital good so any alternative infringing use could put Facebook at risk for Third-Party linking and contribution to infringement...

           

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            nasch (profile), May 14th, 2011 @ 3:41pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            The photos could have limited rights. Copyright always stays with the creator of the content.

            Which has nothing to do with disorderly conduct.

            A photo is not speech

            How exactly did you come to this conclusion? If a photo is not speech, then it's not protected by the 1st Amendment. Do you really think that's the case?

             

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    mmm, May 13th, 2011 @ 10:12am

    D.C.

    My guess is that the D.C. charge has less to do with the actual creation and posting of the list, and more to do with the fact that he distributed the list AT SCHOOL. Just a hunch.

     

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      William, May 13th, 2011 @ 10:14am

      Re: D.C.

      "but also was responsible for circulating it online,"

      I see no mention of a school involved.

       

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        Doug B (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 10:39am

        Re: Re: D.C.

        Maybe go read the original, linked article?

        The list ranked 50 female students and in describing them, rated their body parts and used racial slurs. The teen also is being accused of printing out the list and passing it around during lunch periods at the high school on Jan. 14 , the Tribune reported."


        Bolding is mine.

         

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          drew, May 13th, 2011 @ 11:46am

          Re: Re: Re: D.C.

          Even passing it around at school still doesn't necessarily seem like disorderly conduct. Christ, we released a half dozen garter snakes in the lunch room at our high school and barely got detention.

           

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          skrea, May 13th, 2011 @ 4:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: D.C.

          Well then it seems like detention or suspension might have been an appropriate response by the school, but why is law enforcement involved at all? Even a cheap attorney should be able to get this dropped with a phone call...

           

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    Matthew A. Sawtell, May 13th, 2011 @ 10:19am

    DIY without Lawyers = Jail Time

    Looks like another twit is learning the hard way that just because someone else did it before him, it doesn't mean that someone else did have the money (or their parents) for a lawyer to keep them out of trouble.

     

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      Haywood (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 12:19pm

      Re: DIY without Lawyers = Jail Time

      According to the Dude; "Unless you're a high-ranking member of society, don't expect too much from the police."

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2011 @ 12:59pm

        Re: Re: DIY without Lawyers = Jail Time

        You forgot to mention the requirements to contribute to the PBA, buying tickets to the Policemens' Ball, and sending the requisite fat envelopes on a timely basis. Of course, being a high-ranking member of society generally confers the financial benefits necessary to do this.

         

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    Eric Goldman (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 10:21am

    This is a little like State v. Drahota, 280 Neb. 627 (Sept. 24, 2010), where politically charged emails couldn't constitute a "breach of the peace." http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2010/10/politically_cha.htm

     

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    Grey Ferret, May 13th, 2011 @ 10:21am

    Hmm... he used a computer to commit this "crime", so will he be charged with hacking now too?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2011 @ 10:30am

    If he was ranking the pictures it seems like he would be charged with "orderly conduct" rather than "disorderly conduct".

     

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    V, May 13th, 2011 @ 10:32am

    And we wonder...

    How is this not protected 100% by the 1st ammendment?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2011 @ 10:39am

    Seems like they are trying to it make illegal to be a teenage boy. I remember virtually all of the locker room conversation pretty much revolved around this exact topic.

     

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    Rob Adams, May 13th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    What is Disorderly Conduct?

    720 ILCS 5/26‑1 lists 13 definitions of "disorderly conduct." 12 of them are fairly objective, and don't apply to this situation. The remaining charge is completely subjective, and is the only one that might possibly apply:
    A person commits disorderly conduct when he knowingly: ... Does any act in such unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb another and to provoke a breach of the peace

    I'm not a lawyer, but I can read English. The minor must have either alarmed or disturbed someone, and he must also have provoked a breach of the peace.

    Aside from being an incredibly broad standard, I just don't see how this applies to the facts as we know them. I'm sure he alarmed someone, but how did he provoke a breach of the peace? Did someone take a swing at him over this?

    Remind me to fight any disorderly conduct charge I ever recieve.

     

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      RobShaver (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 11:14am

      Re: What is Disorderly Conduct?

      Well, these police have alarmed me. Will they now arrest themselves if I complain?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

        Re: Re: What is Disorderly Conduct?

        Well, these police have alarmed me. Will they now arrest themselves if I complain?

        No, silly boy, laws are for civilians.

         

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      Michial Thompson, May 13th, 2011 @ 2:05pm

      Re: What is Disorderly Conduct?

      You are assuming that "Breach of peace" means to physically confrontation. If he did it in the school cafeteria as stated, and even a moderately loud arguement, or verbal fight could be considered to meet the breach of peace portion.

      I cannot imagine that if a teenage girl who was on that list was present she didn't make some obnoxious scene by throwing some kind of fit.

      If it wasn't easily gotten under control then that is all it would take.

       

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        nasch (profile), May 14th, 2011 @ 4:17pm

        Re: Re: What is Disorderly Conduct?

        I cannot imagine that if a teenage girl who was on that list was present she didn't make some obnoxious scene by throwing some kind of fit.

        Fortunately, criminal charges aren't based on what some unconnected person can or cannot imagine, but (in theory) on what actually happened. Did someone breach the peace over this list, and did the creator provoke that breach? The article doesn't say.

         

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    PRMan, May 13th, 2011 @ 10:42am

    The rule of law is dead

    They can now arrest anyone for anything they like anytime they like.

     

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      RobShaver (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 11:19am

      Re: The rule of law is dead

      Ignorance of the law is no excuse and there's always some law they can charge you with at any time, even sleeping in your bed.

      Police have lots of discretion in enforcing the law. If the officer is reasonable then the law seems reasonable. If the officer is having a bad day then some citizen is going to have a bad day.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    The descriptions of the girls also included racial slurs. That's the worst thing about it, but this is a small town with small town mentality. My guess is that one or more girls in the list has a daddy on the force or something like that.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2011 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      Racial slurs are offensive, unwelcome, and a sign of inferior minds. But they're not illegal -- nor should they be. Those who would make them so, or censor them, are worse than the racists and more of a threat to society.

       

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        Michial Thompson, May 13th, 2011 @ 2:10pm

        Re: Re:

        Racial slurs by themselves may not be illegal, but if used in certain crimes they can actually increase the charges by changing them to Hate Crimes.

        For instance, if racial slurs were used during an assault, it could be made a Hate Crime. Usually the Hate Crime card isn't played unless it's a violent crime, not all of the crimes are violent that can be escallated as Hate Crimes.

         

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    Doug B (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 10:46am

    Mike, you really need to quote the part of the original article that points out that he printed out the list and distributed it at the school.

     

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 10:52am

      Re:

      The fact that it was at school makes absolutely no difference whatsoever. If it was a violation of school policy (bullshit) then it would be handled in detention. Unless you're telling us that the police handle detention now.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2011 @ 11:05am

        Are you kidding? People get arrested over school issues all the time. Most states require that any physical altercation or threats of must be handled by the police.

        Detention? Of course. That's what truant officers are employed for.

         

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          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 11:15am

          Re:

          physical altercation or threats

          I'm perfectly fine with physical altercations being handled by the police... but unless I'm missing something, there were no such in this case.

           

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          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 11:17am

          Re:

          This is at most a violation of school policy not the law (as would be a threat or physical altercation). There is no reason to pull the police into it.

          Plus, this all qualifies as free speech (even if it is hurtful) so a school policy that covers this should be removed.

           

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        Nathan F (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 11:14am

        Re: Re:

        Sure, but if what I understand from the article is correct, the boy wasn't even a student at the school when the incident occurred. I would think they would have had better grounds to get him arrested for trespassing then "disturbing the peace".

         

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          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 11:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Trespassing I could see (though we don't know why he was there). Granted he could be arrested for something completely different (Like freaking out when asked to leave). It wouldn't be the first time a newspaper got things wrong.

           

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    tsetse fly, May 13th, 2011 @ 11:01am

    re:

    People Magazine is next, they are ranking how hot people are. Then they need to bust in on American Idol. This is obviously another result of Global Climate Change!

     

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    chuck, May 13th, 2011 @ 11:06am

    TSA like

    Sounds like they have taken this teens rights in an effort to make the girls in that high school feel safe.

     

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    Jason, May 13th, 2011 @ 11:09am

    I love misapplied law!!

    The law was originally based on disturbing the peace laws, and both are solely based in the PUBLIC SPACE. Facebook is a public web application but it's not like the schoolyard. It's more like a clubhouse where certain members are allowed to join and express opinions that other people might not like. I wonder if they would arrest the KKK simply for meeting together and expressing racist / bigot opinions on the same charge - so I view facebook as a special club you must be accepted into before you get the goods. I guess I see both sides and it would be a great debate topic, assuming each side can stick to facts.

    However I think this is over the top and any good lawyer should be able to prove the charge was misapplied. Otherwise the gov't needs to prove facebook is a public place.

     

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      Huph, May 13th, 2011 @ 11:20am

      Re: I love misapplied law!!

      He wasn't arrested for Disorderly Conduct because of posting to FB, he was arrested for distributing to the cafeteria (public place in a public school) the list and rankings of specific females, along with rankings of their anatomy, accompanied with racial slurs. If distributing such a list engendered even just one response or threat of violence from one of the girls, or her boyfriend, then in most jurisdictions the school is required to turn the matter over to the police.

       

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        Jason, May 13th, 2011 @ 11:24am

        Re: Re: I love misapplied law!!

        Thank you for correcting me as I did not follow all the links and get the whole story. Big problem these days. Well in that case, I think it's over the top but fully justified.

         

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        btr1701 (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 2:10am

        Re: Re: I love misapplied law!!

        > If distributing such a list engendered even just one response
        > or threat of violence from one of the girls, or her boyfriend,
        > then in most jurisdictions the school is required to turn the
        > matter over to the police.

        That's what is known in 1st Amendment circles as a "heckler's veto" and has been disallowed as a restriction on speech by the Supreme Court for decades.

         

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      RobShaver (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 11:21am

      Re: I love misapplied law!!

      Facebook is not a public space. You must join a page before you can see all of it.

       

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        Jason, May 13th, 2011 @ 11:26am

        Re: Re: I love misapplied law!!

        yes, but I see how my post is confusing as I did not fully read the links and get the whole story. But if he were arrested per my sceario, and charged with disorderly conduct the gov't would need to prove FB is a public space, which we all know it is not. Disorderly is a charge based on being a jerk in public beyond your normal 1st ammendment rights to be a jerk.

         

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    Danny, May 13th, 2011 @ 11:15am

    So does that mean....

    that someone is going to go arrest that college woman (Duke I think) that made that fucklist that somehow made it onto the net after she gave it to her friends a while back?

     

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    RobShaver (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 11:23am

    Are Beauty Pageant Judges now Disorderly?

    So does that mean the judges at a beauty pageant will be arrested for disorderly conduct?

     

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      Jason, May 13th, 2011 @ 11:28am

      Re: Are Beauty Pageant Judges now Disorderly?

      No, those girls ASKED to be judged, ranked, commented on, and otherwise treated like cattle at an auction.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2011 @ 1:00pm

        Re: Re: Are Beauty Pageant Judges now Disorderly?

        No, those girls ASKED to be judged, ranked, commented on, and otherwise treated like cattle at an auction.

        I doubt if many of them asked to be judged not good enough, so let the losers file charges?

         

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2011 @ 12:58pm

      Re: Are Beauty Pageant Judges now Disorderly?

      I've read of lots of instances in sports of calls by referees, etc., inciting fans to violence.

       

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    telnetdoogie (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 11:31am

    Why that little...

    I would have charged him with an act of terrorism!!!

    ...unless he ranked my daughter fairly high on the list, in which case, I'm fine with it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2011 @ 11:52am

    No matter what this is a stupid charge. basically a bunch of girls didn't like what someone said (posted, passed out). For law enforcement to even get involved at this level is disgusting. It's a waiste of time, money, and manpwoer. All of which I am sure Chicago has no overabundance of.

     

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    NullOp, May 13th, 2011 @ 11:55am

    RUKM

    Are you kidding me?

    The schools and cops have nothing better to do than this? The most likely thing that happened is one of the girls didn't feel she get the rating to which she is ENTITLED.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re:

    The song by N.W.A. put it best, in this case. "F*** Tha Police"

     

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    dullgeek (profile), May 13th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    Getting the police to act

    It amazes me that this behavior, which is questionable, but not obviously illegal can generate an arrest, while a demonstrated laptop theft generates exactly *zero* activity from the police.

     

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    Pips, May 13th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    Odd.

    Would this be protected speech? Or would it be a hate crime since he used racial slurs?

     

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      btr1701 (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 2:12am

      Re: Odd.

      > Would this be protected speech? Or would it be a hate
      > crime since he used racial slurs?

      Racial slurs *are* protected speech. See American Nazi Party vs. City of Skokie, Illinois.

       

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        Paul B Smith, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 12:40pm

        Re: Re: Odd.

        He rated their looks not their races and this is protected under free speech or would you like the US Government telling you what to say think and do?? Maybe you do But I fought for this country and I am not going to roll over for the federal government!!

         

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

    Police do the darnedest things.

     

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    Jay, May 13th, 2011 @ 2:26pm

    Facebook Liability

    According the the laws being proposed. Maybe the police should charge Facebook for distrubing the peace? The kid was copying the photos, but seems to have a fair use out for commentary in this. However Facebook could have Third-Party liability for allowing the copying of the photos. Facebook is a nuicence that must be made to pay for thier photo linking and copying capabilities.

     

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    -, May 14th, 2011 @ 7:24am

    I got your "disorderly conduct" right here!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2011 @ 7:44am

    Does the kid not have the right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression?

     

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    PJF, May 15th, 2011 @ 6:32pm

    Save the Children

    This is a result of those teen suicides caused by being bullied online. So the powers that be have decided that something must be done about online bullies. Until new laws are written ( and you know they eventually will be by some busybody ), this is the "best" they can do.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 2:03am

    Amazing

    I have no idea why the cops/D.A. think this is going to withstand any kind of 1st Amendment scrutiny.

    And from a practical perspective, when this call first came in to the station (from outraged parent of one of the girls, one presumes), I can't imagine why they even took it seriously. This would have been my reaction:

    PARENT: Some miscreant posted a list of the hottest girls in school on his Facebook page!

    ME: Okay... so?

    PARENT: Well, it's an outrage! He said my daughter has a nice butt, for god's sake!

    ME: Seriously? This is why you're calling the police?

    PARENT: Damn it, something must be done!

    ME: Well, that may be true, but it's not something on which we're going to waste police resources. Have a nice day.

     

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    James debbarma, Jun 26th, 2011 @ 10:03pm

    Friend

    Wld u lik to make my friend

     

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    identicon
    jp, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    them girls musta been real ugly

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Paul B Smith, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    17 Year Old Boy Arrested For Rating Girls On Appearance

    HOW CAN IN THIS COUNTRY WHERE IT IS YOUR GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO HAVE THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH TO BE ARRESTED FOR JUST SIMPLY GIVING ONES OPINION?? I WILL TELL YOU HOW THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO TAKE YOURS AND MY RIGHTS AWAY AND WHEN THEY WANT TO THEY WILL SIMPLY SAY THEIT IS PART OF THE PATRIOT ACT!!! PATRIOT ACT MY ASS THIS KID, YES KID DID NOTHING WRONG NOT A THING AND OUR FOUNDING FATHERS ARE ROLLING IN THEIR GRAVES RIGHT NOW!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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