This one is from a week ago, and a bunch of you submitted it (thoughTim K
gets the hat tip for being first), but just getting around to it now. Apparently, a woman named Paula Asher, who hit a car while driving under the influence, was ordered by the judge in the case to delete her Facebook account
, after she typed the following status message on her Facebook page:
"My dumb bass got a DUI and I hit a car...LOL"
The judge seemed to take the "LOL" statement literally -- that she was "laughing out loud" at her drunk driving accident -- and ordered her to delete her Facebook account. She then ignored that order, leading to a contempt of court charge and jail time. I have no problem with her facing punishment for the drunk driving, but being told to delete her Facebook page seems extreme on a variety of levels. First, the literal interpretation of "LOL" is a bit unfair, considering in context how many people use the term today. Rather than literally meaning that they're "laughing out loud," it's often an expression of exasperation at a situation people find themselves in. Many people seem to use it more as punctuation
to a statement they make, rather than as an accurate description of what they're doing.
But, even beyond that, it seems wrong to order the deletion of an entire Facebook account over one off-hand statement like that. Facebook had nothing to do with this woman's drunk driving -- which, again, she should be punished for. I could even see reason to up the level of punishment for potentially showing a lack of remorse or recognition of the seriousness of her crime. But forcing someone to delete their entire Facebook account, when it's a key way that many people communicate today, seems extreme. Facebook didn't make Asher drive drunk. Nor did it make her not show remorse afterward. Forcing her to shut it down completely seems to go beyond reasonable.