Woman arrested for Facebook ‘poke’

Posted by andreaitis on October 10, 2009

Facebook poke

Image by liako via Flickr

The Tennessean reporting on what might be a first:  a woman arrested for virtually “poking” someone on Facebook,  violating an order of protection.

According to the affidavit filed in Sumner County General Sessions Court, Shannon Jackson is accused of using the “poke” option on Facebook to contact a Hendersonville woman, thus violating the terms of the order of protection, which stipulates “no telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner.”

Violating an order of protection is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, violators can be punished with up to 11 months, 29 days in jail and a possible fine of up to $2,500.

via  Facebook ‘poke’ leads to woman’s arrest | | The Tennessean

The recipient of a Facebook “poke” receives a message saying “You’ve been poked by <insert Facebook user name>.”  Maybe not the traditional definition of contact or communication, but it’s contact all the same.  And it’s easy to see how a virtual poke can be just as threatening as a real-life poke.

Maybe the terms of an order of protection should be expanded to include no poking, sharing, emailing, friending, tweeting, IM’ing or DM’ing.  And maybe we all need to train ourselves in online self-defense mechanisms like privacy settings and blocking capabilities, just as we train for real-world self defense techniques.

Caveat Emptor Poker, people.


5 Responses to “Woman arrested for Facebook ‘poke’”

  1. michaelbaggett said

    Seriously? You call your site true slant, yet your mislead with your headline? This person was not arrested for ‘poking’ someone on facebook, this person was arrested for violating a court order. It’s the small things like this are giving american journalism a bad name.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ryan Bunce. Ryan Bunce said: Facebook first? Woman arrested for Facebook "poke" […]

  3. Kim Lancaster said

    What’s you bag, Baggett? Apparently you have no experience with the Poke function on FB. It is another cool tool that can be mis- or overused to the point of nuisance and/or abuse.

    I have been the recipient of pokes from people that became rather persistent and a little creepy. I can easily see how a poke from a person that I have a restraining order against could be construed as a threat.

    Please do your research before posting semi-abusive comments. “It’s the small things like this are giving american blog comments a bad name.”

  4. Courtney Boyd Myers said

    The idea of a virtual poke may seem very silly. But if the order of protection stipulates “no telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner.” The catch-all here is “communicating” which includes e-mailing and, as silly as it may sound, “poking” on Facebook. My question to the Hendersonville woman is… If you went to the trouble to pursue an order of protection, why didn’t you also “de-friend” Shannon Jackson on Facebook?

  5. andreaitis said

    You can poke someone on Facebook even if they’re not on your friends’ list. The Hendersonville woman would have had to block Shannon Jackson on Facebook, and modify her settings so she wouldn’t appear in Facebook search results. That kind of self-protection is just not habitual yet. Our digital presence is far and wide, lots of profiles to change in lots of places. At some point I can imagine a product called Un-FriendFeed.

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