Could a Facebook poke put you in the pokey?

By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

pokeA woman in Tennessee was recently arrested for… a Facebook poke. The poke in question violated an order of protection (i.e., restraining order), since an OP prohibits “telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner.”

This definitely includes electronic communication (I’ve seen judges vehemently remind respondents that it means “no texts!” and “no emails!”). This is obviously important as cyberstalking becomes an increasingly prevalent problem. Though a Facebook poke is pretty much at the very bottom of the communication spectrum, since as the news article pointed out, it “conveys no other message but informing a user they have been ‘poked’ by another user.”

Pokes have always confounded me, to be honest. What does it mean? Could those pokes actually be ominous? I can definitely see how they could be annoyance, however; if it weren’t a violation of a restraining order, then the restrained person could in theory send a thousand pokes a day…

Violating an order of protection in Tennessee is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of 11 months and 29 days in jail, and maximum fine of $2500. The woman arrested had bond set at $1500 and will appear in court at the end of the month.

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