from the careful-what-you-type dept
The second such story takes place in the UK, where a 29-year-old man has been fined for the message he sent his ex-girlfriend on Facebook. The court won't reveal what was in the note, but apparently it was judged to be "grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene, or menacing character."
BY [DEFENSE]: ... Prior to Au-April 22nd, 2008 had you ever expressed or communicated in any way that you wanted your ex to die a slow painful death?
A I believe you're referring to my "My Space" ...
Q I'm not-I-no, I'm not referring to anything. I'm just asking you a simple question: if you'd ever expressed or communicated in any way that you wanted your ex-husband, Mr. Embry, to die a slow painful death?
A I see it right there on your desk.
A It's my "My Space" blog.
Q Okay, did you say it?
A I typed it.
Q Okay. But the answer is, did you say it? I mean is that your communication.
A I typed it.
Q Okay. And did you ever express um, or communicate in any way that you wanted to be present and dance the cha-cha around his slow painful death?
A It's all there in the blog.
Q Okay. The answer's a simple yes or no. You said it; you've communicated it some way, did you?
A If you want to put that blog there, I ...
Q I'm just asking you a simple question.
BY COURT: Ma'am, will ya just answer the question yes or no?
A Yes, I did.
Q Did you ever refer to Mr. Embry or communicate in any way that he was a worthless bag of monkey shit?
Q Did you ever refer to him as dog piss?
Q Did you ever refer to him as a worm puke stale crusty moldy inhuman horrible human oxygen sucking moron?
Q Did you ever communicate the desire, that because he's older and more stupid than you, he will die way before you do?
A I believe I said please assure me that it was possible that he would pass before me."
The state's attorney redirects with this understated summary:
"BY [STATE]: Ms. Embry, is it fair-fair to say that you're not very fond of your former husband?
A No, I am not fond of him at all."
Perhaps this is just a sign of our litigious times, but it does seem like there's a bit of a clash going on between how people view social networking (as a communication system, like talking, where you can make extreme statements in the heat of the moment) when they communicate, and how it's then used in courts -- as more of an "official statement of record."