The Inquirer-Home

Woman arrested for Facebook poke

Breaks court order
Wed Oct 14 2009, 12:16

FOR MOST FACEBOOK users 'poking' someone is simply an affectionate gesture, a way to flirt with a total stranger or perhaps mildly annoying joshing, but for one woman it's meant an arrest.

Shannon Jackson, a 36 year-old from Hendersonville, Tennessee previously had been accused of harassing, threatening and verbally abusing Dana Hannah and had a protective order put in place banning Jackson from "telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner."

Apparently, Jackson jumped onto the popular social notworking site and sent Hannah a 'poke.'

Rather than just blocking Jackson from her profile, Hannah promptly took a screen grab of the message and passed it on to the local constabulary. It was viewed as breaking the court order and Jackson was arrested.

While the popularity of social networks continues to grow, with Facebook having recently hit 300 million users, these sites have been encountered issues around cyber-bullying, most famously in the Megan Meier suicide case at Facebook's rival site Myspace.

This case could set an interesting precedent in the US and the rest of world for those hoping to use online social networks as a way of sidestepping orders such as these, either by hoping that the websites won't be recognised as communication channels by the authorities, or by hiding behind fake profiles.

Jackson faces trial in the Sumner County General Sessions Court on 28 October.

If found guilty of breaching the protective order, which is similar to a restraining order, it would be a class A misdemeanour and she could face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to a $2,500. µ


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