How a MySpace ‘Friend’ Request Led to a Criminal Conviction

Posted on September 29, 2020 in IP & Social Media

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From the department of “what part of ‘don’t contact me’ do you not understand?” comes a recent New York case, People v. Fernino [2008 WL 382348 (N.Y.City Crim.Ct. February 13, 2008), for those of you who want the citation]. Thanks to Evan Brown and his Internet Cases blog for pointing it out.

Here’s the history: A New York family court issued an order of protection against Melissa Fernino, which prohibited her from having any contact with Sandra Delgrosso and her two underage daughters. [Apparently, Delgrosso had had a romantic liaison with Fernino’s father–one can only wonder how badly that went south to end up in restraining orders!]. Fernino then added Delgrosso as a “friend” on MySpace.

The court was not amused. Even though Delgrosso could have denied the request, that wasn’t the point. The point is that Fernino made contact–even if indirectly.

In many of these social networking sites, it’s thought that “the one with the most friends wins.” But what’s the real quality of those friendships?

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