Last week, a woman was set to stand trial for violating a restraining order taken out by her estranged daughter. The violation? Following her daughter’s Pinterest page.
Pinterest — traditionally known as a mecca for bakers, brides-to-be, and knitting enthusiasts — might seem like one of the more benign social networks, but even it isn’t immune to the internet’s many misdeeds, apparently. Case-in-point: the ongoing harassment lawsuit in the US made possible thanks to an email from Pinterest. The email, which alerted the daughter to the fact that her mother was now following her on the social network, supposedly violates the restrictions of the mother’s domestic restraining order.
The mother and her attorney, however, are claiming that there’s no way of proving that someone else didn’t create the Pinterest page under her name. That argument likely won’t hold much water though, especially since, according to The Salem News, “the page was filled with disparaging comments about Shaw’s daughter and others.” Whoops!
This isn’t the first time social media has blurred legal lines. Just this past December, a man was arrested after his ex-girlfriend (who just so happened to have a restraining order against him) received a Google+ invitation to add him to her circle. In both cases, much of the uncertainty lies in the fact that there’s no real precedent for how to handle these situations. Are automated emails technically from you if an act prompted them? Is simply following someone online different from following them in real life?
The questions might seem a little absurd, but as long as they go unanswered, we’ll keep running into the same problems — be it in real life or LinkedIn. [Salem News]