Now a man cannot even post his thoughts on his Facebook page, which anyway is blocked from his estranged wife! Because that would be violation of court’s protective order? Bravo.
CINCINNATI (AP) — A man who was threatened with jail time for posting comments about his estranged wife on his personal Facebook page unless he posted daily apologies for a month says the court ruling violates his freedom of speech.
Mark Byron, who is making the apology to avoid 60 days in jail, said Friday night that he believes it’s too late for him to appeal the domestic relations court ruling as planned. But the Cincinnati man and free speech and media experts say it should concern other users of the social networking site.
With hundreds of millions of people using Facebook for communication, Byron said that “if they can do this to me, they can do it to others.”
The idea “that anybody could tell you what to say to your friends on Facebook should be scary to people,” said Cincinnati attorney Jill Meyer, who specializes in free speech and media issues.
The ruling is highly unusual and “troubling because it’s a court telling someone to say something to — in some regards — his chosen group of friends,” said Meyer. She noted that the comments were not directed to Byron’s wife, Elizabeth Byron, who was blocked from accessing the page.
According to the ruling, Byron posted comments on his page in November, saying in part, “If you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband’s life and take your son’s father away from him completely — all you need to do is say you’re scared of your husband or domestic partner and they’ll take him away.”
The Byrons are involved in on-going divorce and child custody proceedings. Byron has said his wife and the court have prevented him from seeing his 17-month-old son many times. The court maintains he is allowed to see him on a twice-weekly basis.
Of course, the part where father is not allowed to see son except on ration-schedule is oh so convenient and just. It is all by the book of course. If he expresses his frustration about that, slap a contempt of court against him. Just say it is because of violation of previous protection order favouring his wife. So convenient, so innovative, so stupid…
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