Woman tags sister-in-law on Facebook, faces year in jail

Technically Incorrect: A woman who was under a restraining order reportedly tags her victim -- her sister-in-law -- on Facebook. A New York judge rules that even tagging is electronic communication.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Everything on Facebook doesn't stay on Facebook.

CNET

If a court has told you to keep a low profile and not communicate with someone, it's best to stay off Facebook.

Facebook still counts as communication.

This advice was apparently not taken by Maria Gonzalez and her Facebook activity may now land her in jail.

As the New York Law Journal reports (registration required), Gonzalez was under a protection order. She was not allowed to contact her sister-in-law Maribel Calderon.

However, she reportedly created a Facebook post calling her sister-in-law "stupid" and tagged her.

She also added these words, according to the law journal: "You and your family are sad...You guys have to come stronger than that!! I'm way over you guys but I guess not in ya agenda."

When you're tagged on Facebook, you receive a notification. This is what led to Gonzalez being charged with second-degree criminal contempt. This can lead to a year in jail.

Gonzalez's attorney, seeking to dismiss the charges, reportedly told the court that the protection order didn't specifically exclude communication via Facebook.

Acting Westchester County Supreme Court Justice Susan Capeci reportedly disagreed. She said that the phrase in the protection order that read "by electronic or any other means" was sufficient to cover any Facebook communication.

Gonzalez's court-appointed attorney Kim Frohlinger didn't immediately reply to a request for comment. However, she told the New York Post that she wouldn't appeal the ruling.

It's always worth thinking before posting to Facebook. This is especially true when there are emotional -- and legal -- aspects involved.

Though you might think some part of Facebook communication is private or at least subtle, the truth is that once it's done, it's out there.

And once something is out there it can, as the saying from cop shows (and the law) goes, be used against you.

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