Facebook friend suggestion leads to bigamy charge

Facebook recommends to a woman someone she doesn't know. When she clicks on the link, she discovers that this woman, of all things, is allegedly her husband's other wife.

Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

When Facebook tells you it has "notifications," it can be troubling. What must Facebook notify you of? It sounds so official.

However, when Facebook recommends a new friend, surely the machines know that this is someone with whom you will have a riotous old time.

And yet a woman in Pierce County, Wa., received a Facebook friending suggestion that recommended someone she felt certain was a stranger. Yet she allegedly discovered it was her husband's wife. Yes, his other wife.

The way the News Tribune splices it, Alan L. O'Neill, 41, is a corrections officer who might need correcting on the minutiae of the law.

For when his initial wife clicked on the suggested friend's profile pictures, she allegedly discovered that the maybe friend's profile photo was a wedding photo. The groom was allegedly the same man to whom the initial wife believed she was still married.

The News Tribune scoured court records, which reportedly show that O'Neill used to be known as Alan Fulk. He reportedly married his initial wife 11 years ago, but moved out 3 years later.

However, there seems to be no record of either party filing for divorce.

The court records declare that the initial wife called O'Neill's mother, following which O'Neill allegedly visited the initial wife and promised he would sort everything out.

Regretfully, there appears not to have been sufficient sorting, as he was yesterday charged with bigamy.

The problem with being, as Mark Zuckerberg has put it so many times, "more open and connected" is that after you are being more open, machines are often doing the connecting.

A machine that makes a connection isn't yet quite the same as a human who might stop and think about details and nuances.

Perhaps, therefore, you should be very careful when making human connections. You should also be very careful about which machines are connecting you.

Chris Matyszczyk/CNET
 

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