Mom Who Used Son's Facebook Account Found Guilty Of Online Harassment
from the careful-what-you-post dept
We’re somewhat skeptical of the various “cyberharassment” laws out there, as they leave themselves wide open to interpretation (often in dangerous ways). In April, we wrote about one case involving a son who sued his mother for harassment after she used his Facebook account (she went to the computer and he had not logged out) to post angry messages on his wall, pretending to be him, and then changed his password and locked him out of the account. (As a quick aside: I just checked, and as with most online services, Facebook appears to require you to type in your old password before you can enter a new one — so I’m wondering how she had access to his existing password…).
Either way, Rose M. Welch alerts us to the news that the mother has been found guilty, told to pay $435, given a 30-day suspended jail sentence, and ordered to take both anger management and parenting classes. Clearly, what she did was wrong, though I do wonder if it really reaches the level of harassment. Some of the judge’s reasoning also is a bit suspect. Part of the reasoning for the guilty ruling was that the mother had left messages on her son’s voicemail that included curse words. The son is 17, so it’s not like he hasn’t heard those words before — and the mother insisted that this was part of their normal joking banter. The judge, however, declared it “totally, completely inappropriate.” Now, I’m not going to say that leaving voicemail messages to your children with curse words is a good parenting technique, but it still seems a bit extreme to use that as evidence of harassment.