Swedish Teen Convicted For Making Facebook Friend Request

A Swedish teen was convicted of violating a restraining order, after making a Facebook friend request.

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A Swedish man was convicted of violating a restraining order, after making a Facebook friend request. (Source: Reuters)

While there are various ways to annoy someone through the use of Facebook, very few instances will lead to someone being thrown in jail.  But some people just manage to commit such Facebook-related crimes, nevertheless.  A teenager on the Swedish island of Gotland pulled such a feat off after being convicted of violating a restraining order.  How did he do so?  By making a friend request on Facebook towards the person who made the restraining order. 

When a restraining order is placed on someone, contact constitutes a violation of the restraining order.  Friending someone on Facebook means that the person is being contacted, regardless of whether or not the request is seen or not.  That the teen likely knew this beforehand, and that the restraining order had just been renewed when he sent the friend request.  Consequently, he was arrested for the violation, a minor one.  Given that the teen also ran into this person at a local street fair (whether intentionally or not remains unknown), the Swedish teen was given a suspended sentence, and fined a full month's pay.  Not helping matters was the fact that the teen had a previous criminal history for sexually assaulting a woman.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time someone has been jailed for friending someone on Facebook.  A Florida man was arrested back in 2010 for violating a domestic violence injunction after sending a friend request to his then-estranged wife.  There have been other cases where Facebook postings led to people being arrested and charged with felonies, but rarely for something as basic as this.