Zimbabwe teen sentenced to caning for Facebook post

A 17-year-old boy in Zimbabwe was found guilty of "criminal insult" on the social network.  

 

Kris Holt

Internet Culture

Published Feb 21, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 9:08 pm CDT

Insulting your friends on Facebook doesn’t really pay off. It can make you look petty or vindictive, or, in some cases, even result in you being caned.

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A 17-year-old boy in Zimbabwe was sentenced to two strokes of a cane after being found guilty of “criminal insult” after posting photos of a woman and calling her a prostitute.

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The teen confessed to secretly taking a photo of a woman at her office using his mobile phone. He published the image on Facebook with a caption in the Shona language that read “Mahure emuChiredzi ndiwaya.” In English, that translates to “These are the Chiredzi Prostitutes.”

The boy was apparently Facebook friends with the woman, and she saw the photo when she logged on to Facebook. She informed police, and the boy’s Facebook account was taken down.

He begged for leniency from the judge, claiming that he was new to social networking, an orphan, and the main wage-earner in his family.

Caning is often used as a sentence in Zimbabwe, especially for those who are too young to go to prison. It’s also used as a punishment by schools.

Would you rather be caned a couple of times or have your laptop shot to pieces? If you don’t want to find out, don’t insult anyone on Facebook.

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Photo by llamnuds

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*First Published: Feb 21, 2012, 1:01 pm CST