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Woman faces a year in prison for Facebook tag that violated restraining order
Should the tagger have known better?
Maria Gonzalez probably didn’t realize what she was doing when she used Facebook to tag and call her ex-sister-in-law Maribel Calderon “stupid.”
But because Calderon had filed a restraining order against Gonzalez as part of the former woman’s divorce from Gonzalez’s brother, the tag constituted a forbidden form of communication.
Gonzalez, who faces a year in prison for violating the terms of the order, reportedly tried to talk her way out of serving time. She said that she didn’t understand the extent of the protection order’s coverage and that she didn’t think it “specifically [prohibited her] from Facebook communication” with Calderon.
Westchester County Supreme Court Justice Susan Capeci disagreed, ruling that “the order of protection prohibited the defendant from contacting the protected party by electronic or any other means.”
Gonzalez’s attorney said she had no plans to appeal the ruling.
At the end of the day, any act that’s Internet-related shouldn’t be done carelessly. Whatever you put up on the web is forever—it can certainly bite you in the ass, or turn you into an inmate, depending on the circumstances.
Jam Kotenko is a technology reporter and graphic designer who specializes in coverage of Instagram, Facebook, and other social media apps. Her work has been published by Digital Trends, Bustle, and Gotta Be Mobile.