Facebook Status Update Leads to Imprisonment

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In what will doubtless be seen as a landmark case in years to come, a British teenager has been jailed for a Facebook status update that looked an awful lot like a death threat.

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The accused, Keeley Houghton, updated her Facebook status so that it simply read, “Keeley is going to murder the bitch. She is an actress. What a ——- liberty. Emily —-head Moore.” To be completely frank, the first line is fairly strong, but jailing her for it might seem a little heavy handed. That is, it might seem harsh until you hear some of the more salient details, including the fact that Houghton had apparently threatened Moore in a pub earlier in the week.

As is very often the case, there’s a significant amount behind this ruling that hasn’t been as widely publicised. Perhaps most important is the fact that the accused had had an established history of intimidation and bullying Moore specifically.

Still, this ruling does raise some interesting questions about just how much trouble a rogue Facebook update might get someone into. Given that the majority of Facebook users’ pages boast vague or light-hearted updates, it’s a genuine cause for concern that a status update might be misread… only now it could lead to something a little more serious than a response reading, “:(“.

You can read more over at TomsGuide, but there hasn’t been too much more than that made public so far.

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