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Can a Court Order You To Delete a Facebook Account? 761

First time accepted submitter jaymz666 writes "Can a court really order you to delete a Facebook account? When Asher initially appeared in court after the July 20 accident, the judge told her to delete her Facebook account, Kittinger said. Asher did not take it seriously, and was charged with contempt of court when the judge learned her Facebook page was still active. Seems like a big overreach."
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Can a Court Order You To Delete a Facebook Account?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:52AM (#41399331)

    Last I checked, it wasn't possible to delete a facebook account. You can only deactivate them. I realise it's a technicality, but in a system based upon technicalities, it could serve to be an adequate defence?

  • Re:Probably (Score:4, Informative)

    by characterZer0 ( 138196 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:57AM (#41399409)

    The court can only order your execution after you have been convicted.

    The article is not clear, but it sounds like the demand was made prior to conviction.

  • by macbeth66 ( 204889 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:58AM (#41399419)

    It was a condition of her release. If she did not wish to comply with the conditions, her jail time would have been higher and/or she would have had greater fines.

    If the judge offers something like this up, you take it. It beats spending more time in jail. But you had better follow through. At this level of the court system, the judges are your neighbors. They want the same things you do, a safe community. They are not ivory tower federal judges.

  • Condition of release (Score:5, Informative)

    by ZombieBraintrust ( 1685608 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @11:00AM (#41399467)
    Sounds like she agreed to get off facebook as part of deal for less jail time. Other deals you might make with the judge. "Less time in exchange for serving in the military", "Less time in exchange for community service", "Less time in exchange for entering into rehab", "Less time with an agreement to avoid certain people"
    It is still kinda of awful. Judges should avoid restricting peoples first amendment rights.
  • by strength_of_10_men ( 967050 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @11:01AM (#41399477)

    Of course you can. []

    I did it a year ago and have never looked back

    Of course, whether or not FB actually deletes your data is another matter.

  • Re:Probably (Score:5, Informative)

    by PraiseBob ( 1923958 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @11:08AM (#41399613)
    Yep, only 45% is part of the gun owning subculture.
  • by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @11:13AM (#41399715)

    You do realize that for most of the US, the nearest public transportation is several days walk?

  • Re:overreach (Score:5, Informative)

    by mooingyak ( 720677 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @11:16AM (#41399743)

    That's not actually true, although the legal system treats it as such. Constitutional means compatible with the US Constitution. Some things flatly aren't, even if the court says otherwise.

    You don't decide that, the Supreme Court does. Who says the Supreme Court decides that? The Constitution.

    Well... not exactly. The Supreme Court says the Supreme Court decides that. []

  • by PickyH3D ( 680158 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @11:29AM (#41399971)

    I realize that this is Slashdot, and no one reads the original article, but this woman was mocking the fact that she got a DUI on Facebook, which is what caught the attention of the judge in the first place.

    She was laughing it off as a status update, after hitting another car with, I believe (I read this somewhere else), 4 people in it.

    Under normal circumstances, I would agree that the judge was looking for a power grab, but in this case, I think that the judge was trying to make a point to a person that simply did not understand the ramifications of the situation.

  • Re:Probably (Score:5, Informative)

    by DustyShadow ( 691635 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @12:00PM (#41400507) Homepage
    Here is one. You can find the others on your own []
  • Re:Probably (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 20, 2012 @12:09PM (#41400623)

    In Wisconsin, also for unknown reasons, when they abolished capital punishment they had murder rates quadrupal in 2 years, and re-instated it to get the murder rates back down.

    Wisconsin abolished the death penalty in 1853, never reinstated it, has only executed a single person in it's history, and has one of the lowest per capita homicide rates in America. So whatever your source is, it's crap.

  • Re:Probably (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sectoid_Dev ( 232963 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @12:19PM (#41400763)

    In places like Detroit or Washington DC or Baltimore City where legal gun ownership is basically non-existent, the huge amount of gun proliferation results in an armed criminal element and a disarmed citizenry.

    I can't speak for the other cities, but there is nothing overly restrictive about the gun owenerships laws in Detroit or the state of Michigan. Open carry is allowed assuming the gun is registered and CCW is legal after taking the course and the background check. The people of Detroit do often keep guns in their house because they know the police are not going to show up in any reasonable amount of time, if at all.

    Just because the city is a shit hole, don't assume the reason for that is one that fits your ideological bias.

  • Re:Probably (Score:5, Informative)

    by SScorpio ( 595836 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @12:30PM (#41400937)

    What do you mean about Detroit and legal gun ownership? Michigan has very liberal conceal carry laws, and I know several professionals who work in Detroit and legally carry concealed pistol just in case.

    There were also stories several months ago about some break-ins in Detroit where the home owners shot the intruders. One of these was a guy in his 80s that killed one of the intruders with his shotgun. The media presented him as a hero, and there was no information about any charges against him as he was within Michigan's CASTLE law.

    Michigan as well as Detroit have open carry laws, you might be hassled by the police for carry around a shotgun or rifle strapped across your back but I (IANAL) don't believe it's against a law anywhere. To conceal your weapon you need a conceal carry license, and the gun being concealed must be registered to the person with the CC permit. To get a CC you must complete a CC training course and fill out a form and pay a fee.

    The only reason the majority of Detroit citizens couldn't own a gun would be if the majority of them are convicted felons. This is also not the case contrary to what you've heard on the news.

  • Re:Probably (Score:4, Informative)

    by gorzek ( 647352 ) <> on Thursday September 20, 2012 @12:49PM (#41401229) Homepage Journal

    Only a deranged individual could argue that the abolition of the death penalty is an erosion of liberty.

  • Re:Probably (Score:2, Informative)

    by RobbieCrash ( 834439 ) * on Thursday September 20, 2012 @01:06PM (#41401483)

    How about data on the fact that in a country where guns have proliferated (legally or not), there are more gun crimes contrasted with a country in which guns have not proliferated?

    According to this [], for every 100 people in the states there are 90 guns, but the US murder rate is comparable to China's [] (within ~500 murders annually the last 3 years, 60+% committed by guns in the US, stats not available for China), even though the US population is ONE BILLION PEOPLE SMALLER. With a murder rate 4x higher than anywhere else in the civilized world, it doesn't seem like having a well armed populace is doing much to curb gun violence.

    Maryland and Detroit's gun violence is largely confined to gang activity, so arming the lawful citizenry isn't going to help much. If everyone outside of the gangs is armed, but gangs aren't shooting at non-gang members, why do the rest need to be armed? Yeah yeah, almost all of those guns are illegally owned, but rather than arming the rest of the population, why not work at disarming the criminal population?

    The reason that capitol punishment is not much of a deterrent, is that people don't expect to be caught, the same reason that longer sentences generally do not decrease severe crimes, ie: murder. If a person is going to commit murder, it doesn't matter what the punishment is, they're not killing someone while thinking about what will happen when they're caught; they're thinking they're going to get away with it. Wisconsin's death penalty was revoked 150 years ago, which bears little resemblance to today's climate, and according to this [] article from the Wisconsin law society, it was never repealed.

    I don't think a country can call itself civilized when it decides that the best way to reduce violent crime is to walk softly and carry a big stick. Why not look at eliminating the root causes of the crime, rather than enabling civilians to shoot criminals?

  • Re:Probably (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 20, 2012 @01:13PM (#41401581)

    Undue, it's an undue burden.
    An undo burden is pressing ctrl+z one too many times and not having a redo option.

  • Re:Probably (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @01:37PM (#41401965)
    There is no rational reason why the death penalty should cost more than life in prison. They should not even be in the same ballpark. The fact that the costs have been reversed is tribute to how thoroughly the lawyers have f*ked up our legal system.

    I concede that the death penalty should not be used as a leverage to get people to plea bargain, especially if they are innocent. But then, I think plea bargaining should be illegal anyway. It's bullshit. Charge someone with a crime, prosecute them for THAT crime. Period. End of story. If you can't prove they are guilty, they walk. Period. End of story.

    That's the basis our legal system was built on. And arguably, it worked better then.
  • Re:Probably (Score:4, Informative)

    by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @01:49PM (#41402153)

    A court can order your execution

    Um, no, it can't. That takes a jury. The court must then agree, but, in the US at least, without a conviction by jury *and* a recommendation of the death penalty by the jury as well, the court cannot sentence the defendant to death.

  • by thoth ( 7907 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @01:57PM (#41402251) Journal

    One thing to keep in mind is that it takes a Unanimous Verdict from a jury to apply the death penalty.

    What's that have to do with it? That just means a totally botched investigation, a bogus eye witness (perhaps not intentional but witnesses aren't always correct either), some crucial piece of evidence overlooked/not collected/not followed up, or something those lines are an innocent person is about to be killed.

    I used to be all in favor of the death penalty... and then a series of cases were overturned (if memory serves, many from Dallas, TX and it was pretty obvious the prosecutors were just convicting warm bodies to close their cases) releasing innocent people from death row. That's just a disgusting error almost made.

    Check out the list of exonerated death row inmates and tell me a "unanimous verdict" must totally mean they did it. What BS. []

  • Re:Probably (Score:5, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @02:41PM (#41402835) Journal

    According to this [], for every 100 people in the states there are 90 guns

    This is not a particularly useful metric, because for most people in US, either they have no guns, or they have more than one - and usually more than two. And it's not like owning more guns makes you progressively more likely to use them to hurt or kill someone. Either you have access to a gun and can do it, or you don't and can't. So the metric you really want is the percentage of households with guns.

    How about data on the fact that in a country where guns have proliferated (legally or not), there are more gun crimes contrasted with a country in which guns have not proliferated?

    How about you try that on some other countries, not just US? For example, Switzerland, where the number of households with guns is higher than US (because of that requirement to keep your service weapon at home), or Czech Republic where concealed carry is legal and widely practiced.

    Your problem is that you're picking one differentiator amongs many, find a correlation on a limited set, and then claim that said correlation is causation. It's not. Crime correlates well with the overall poverty of the country, but also with wealth and income disparity. The reason why US has a relatively high crime rate in developed world is not because of guns, but rather because it has unusually high concentration of wealth, very low social mobility, and consequently many poor, disenfranchised people who don't have many prospects in life. This kind of thing breeds crime. Compare that to a well-functioning social democracy like Switzerland, and suddenly guns are a non-factor.

    I don't think a country can call itself civilized when it decides that the best way to reduce violent crime is to walk softly and carry a big stick. Why not look at eliminating the root causes of the crime, rather than enabling civilians to shoot criminals?

    Why not do both? Self-defense is a human right, so enabling it is a moral imperative regardless of how often it's actually needed in practice.

  • Re:Probably (Score:4, Informative)

    by tftp ( 111690 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @04:19PM (#41404041) Homepage

    I personally know several people whose homes were invaded, and I have far more stories from direct witnesses (such as from neighbors.) I don't know what FBI has to say about crimes that fall under authority of states, but there are other words to that effect []:

    According to a United States Department of Justice report: 38% of assaults & 60% of rapes occur during home invasions. 1 of every 5 homes will experience a break-in or home invasion. That's over 2,000,000 homes! According to Statistics Canada, there has been an average of 289,200 home invasions annually over the last 5 years. Statistically, there are over 8,000 home invasions per day in North America. According to Statistics U.S.A., there was an average of 3,600,000 home invasions annually between 1994 and 2000.

    In fact you are most likely be victimized by someone you know than a complete stranger.

    That is irrelevant, unless you prefer a stranger to victimize you instead of someone you know.

    Unfortunately in a lot of cases, the bad guy was the one with the gun.

    You are undermining your own case. If what you said is true then we need to issue a gun to everyone.

    Also, your scary story doesn't take into account the lower crime rates of other western countries that do have restrictions on gun ownership.

    It's better to compare apples vs. other apples. Sure, there may be less crime in Japan, armed and unarmed. But you need to have Japanese people to realize that difference. Crimes are committed by people - not by territories, not by machines. This means that comparisons are valid only within the same society - and even that is not detailed enough. Statistics among gangbangers will tell you that they all own weapons illegally, all commit crimes with them, and are likely to be killed by their accomplices. Statistics among 90 y/o grannies will tell you that some of them own legal weapons, are very unlikely to commit crimes with them, and they will use those weapons to protect themselves and their families.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson