Are Some Facebook Memorial Pages Breaking The Law?
This is an important article that is coming from Canada regarding the mysterious death of a toddler. The Facebook memorial fan page for the young baby is raising some legal red flags pertaining to a “publication ban” that has been put on the case. Please read… I wonder if this type of situation could become more prevalent as more families resort to Facebook for memorial pages?
Facebook Condolences Complicating Publication Ban
As a grief-stricken family prepared the funeral for a two-year-old Oshawa boy slain in a basement apartment, thousands of people turned to Facebook to memorialize the child.
But as mourners ? some family, some friends, even complete strangers ? post condolences, photos and apparent theories of how the toddler was killed, they could be breaking a court-ordered publication ban.
Neither the victim nor the accused, the mother?s 26-year-old boyfriend, can be publicly identified.
?I highly doubt that most of the people blogging or on Facebook have any idea there?s a publication ban. So what is the law to do? Punish them … without them having notice that their conduct may be against the law?? said Paul Burstein, president of the Criminal Lawyers? Association.
A visitation for the boy, who police said died from bodily trauma, will be held at the Oshawa Funeral Home Thursday evening and the funeral will be in the chapel Friday morning.
?Every day that goes by this gets harder and harder. I am mourning the loss of my son the best way that I know how,? the boy?s mother wrote on the tribute page.
The message was in response to new comments that popped up every 15 minutes, several of which began with the preface, ?I don?t know you but ??
The very fact strangers are finding their way to the page presents a problem for the publication ban.
Facebook, like other social networking sites, straddles a legal grey zone, Burstein said. A tribute page can?t be treated the same way as a major news outlet, yet it also can?t be treated like a private conversation between friends.
As of yesterday, the group had close to 2,400 members.
?Unfortunately, the law, certainly in the last 20 years, has shown that it tends to lag far behind advances in technology,? Burstein said.
The repercussions could be significant, as the information could taint the opinions of potential witnesses or jurors. A serious breach of a publication ban could lead to a mistrial, as well as a fine and even jail time for the perpetrator.
Latest posts by CDFuneralNews (see all)
- IS FACEBOOK NOW PAY-TO-PLAY? | DISRUPTu! 038 - February 5, 2018
- Homesteaders Recognizes Account Executives for Outstanding Achievement - February 5, 2018
- NFDA Introduces the 2018 Meet the Mentors Program Participants - January 30, 2018
You may be interested
IS FACEBOOK NOW PAY-TO-PLAY? | DISRUPTu! 038CDFuneralNews - February 5, 2018
Are you ready to fight...!? Ready to FIGHT those recent Facebook Newsfeed changes?! You're in luck with this week's brand…
Homesteaders Recognizes Account Executives for Outstanding AchievementCDFuneralNews - February 5, 2018
West Des Moines, Iowa — Homesteaders Life Company, a national leader in pre-need funeral funding, held its national sales meeting and recognition…
We are Building Something Exciting for You… and We Need Your Help!Justin Crowe - January 31, 2018
We want to make your deathcare job easier. Tell us what you want in this 2-minute survey and get entered to win $100! The Connecting Directors and Disrupt Media teams are excited to be planning some new free funeral home marketing content and products for you in 2018 and we want to know what you need most! We want to know your biggest business wins of 2017, the tasks in your day that you hate, and what you feel is holding you back!