Nowadays, people have a tendency to overshare on social media, which can end up landing them in some hot water if they’re not careful. You might not know it, but what you do on social media is pretty visible to the rest of the world. Because of this, you should be mindful of what you post, and even like. Here, one man is leaning this lesson the hard way after he was caught liking a defamatory post on Facebook about his home country of Switzerland. As a result, he was hit with a $4,000 fine.
Fine. A man is facing a hefty fine after liking a post on Facebook that a court in Switzerland didn’t quite approve of. According to CNN, the post consisted of libelous and defamatory comments against Erwin Kessler, an animal rights activist.
Facebook. The offending post consisted of comments that accused Kessler of being racist and anti-Semitic. Despite the fact that someone else was responsible for making the comments, the man was the first to get fined by Facebook just for liking the post.
Comments. According to Fortune, the man will be required to pay a $4,000 fine for liking the post, for “clearly endorsed the unseemly content.” Other people have also been found guilty for liking the comments, but this unnamed man is the first to actually be hit with a fine.
Defamation. CNN reports that Facebook claimed to have nothing to do with the posts and they’ve yet to make a comment in regards to the incident. In Switzerland, defamation against someone is a punishable offense and is taken very seriously.
Guilty. The court found the man guilty after he couldn’t prove that the comments made in the post were true and was said to have been endorsing the post. It’s unclear how the man’s Facebook activity was brought up to the court, but it’s safe to say he won’t be using the social media platform anytime soon after this incident.
Others. This isn’t the first time that someone’s landed in hot water over something they did on Facebook. According to Vice, dozens of people in Thailand are going to jail over comments that have been deemed offensive to the royal family.
Law. Under the lèse majesté law, anyone caught making comments like this can be punished and sent to jail. Such was the case for Rich, a college student who was early imprisoned after making negative comments against the royal family’s dog.
Jail. “So many friendships end like this here. “That is when I truly realized how easy it is for me to go to jail for a comment,” said 21-year-old Richie, as reported by Vice. Richie lucked out and didn’t have to be placed behind bars, but there have been other instances where people haven’t gotten off as easy.
Prison sentence. Eerily enough, authorities are constantly monitoring social media in order to make sure no one is making these negative comments. In August of 2015, a man was given a harsh 30 year prison sentence for insulting the royal family on social media.
Offense. “I am one of those rash kinds who truly believe that I should not really care whether I offend anyone or get arrested or not, that I have the fundamental rights to express my opinions even on the most sensitive matter. But you cannot stay like that too long when you are online in Thailand,” said Richie, as reported by Vice.
Risks. Like most young people around the world, the youth in Thailand is adamant about using social media. But for them, this comes at a great risk. If caught making comments authorities don’t approve of, not only could they face prison, but their families could also be at risk.
Threats. “Even my family may be threatened by what I would post. ‘We don’t want you to get arrested,’ they’d tell me, so I stopped. But I did it for the family, not because of the law. I just don’t want them to be concerned about it,” said Petcharat Saksirivetkul, as reported by Vice.
Rules. Because of these strict rules, people in Thailand are made to feel like they’re walking on eggshells when they use social media. People live in constant fear that their phones are bugged or they’re being monitored and are therefore forced to use encrypted apps on their phones.
Critics. “This situation is too strict for us, making us not dare to criticize anything,” said Wachiravit Kongkarai, another student from Thailand, as reported by Vice.
What do you think about these harsh social media laws all around the world? Be sure to share your thoughts with us!