Facebook Friend Request Leads To Conviction And Fine

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A man was forced to pay a fine and received a suspended sentence after sending a friend request on Facebook in Sweden to a person who has a restraining order against him.

According to a story in The Local, Sveriges Radio reported that an 18-year-old unnamed male was fined 30 days of pay and handed a suspended sentence by the Gotland District Court, which ruled that a friend request on Facebook constituted a violation of a restraining order preventing him from contacting the person.

In its ruling, the court found that "a friend request represents an active choice with the aim of making contact. That can't be seen as a minor violation.” However, the court did not see the attempt at making contact via Facebook as a violation that warranted the awarding of damages.

Besides the attempt to connect on Facebook, the man, who is from the Baltic island of Gotland, also reportedly ran into the person at a fair and has a previous conviction for sexually assaulting a woman.

The Huffington Post reports that while Sweden's laws are markedly different from those in the United States that have led to arrests over Facebook activity, friend requests on the social media site have been a component in past cases. In 2010, a Florida man was jailed for sending a friend request to his estranged wife, thereby violating a domestic order against him.

Sources: The Local, Huffington Post