Millions of people use Facebook every day using their REAL NAME, with the REAL DATE OF BIRTH and many other personal details like where they went to school and in what year. In fact, Facebook themselves demand your real name. The newly launched Google+ has already kicked off 1000s of new users for not using their real names.
The authorities love Facebook!
They can track just about anybody on the whole planet through Facebook. Even if you are not a member, I bet you have family and friends who are. Don't they ever mention you? You're sure you're not tagged in a photo from a night out?
It might seem unbelievable, but the number of people who lose their common sense when they go on Facebook is incredible.
1. Befriend an accused when you are a juror!
Joanne fraill, 40, from Manchester, England, was sent to prison for eight months for befriending defendant Jamie Sewart, 34, on Facebook, causing the collapse of a high profile drugs trial which up to that point had cost taxpayers £6 million ($8m).1
After hearing of how Fraille had passed on information about the trial to a defendant while the case was ongoing, the judge discharged the jury and the case collapsed.
In a separate trial, Fraille admitted befriending the defendant because she felt "empathy for her". She was charged under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 for revealing details of the jury's deliberations, and also of researching the internet for information about a defendant whose case she was a trial juror at.
She was jailed for eight months, despite having an exemplary previous record, while the defendant, Jamie Sewart was only handed a two month suspended sentence for her part in the Facebook conversation.
Fraille was only caught because Sewart reported the conversation to her lawyer, the following day.
In the UK, members of the jury are picked at random from the general population from among those who have exemplary criminal records. Jury duty is compulsory, and jurors are repeatedly warned not to discuss ongoing cases with anybody for fear of disrupting a trial.
To contact a defendant in the trial via Facebook is an astonishingly stupid thing to do.
2. Admit a crime (and a serious one at that) - to the victim on Facebook
John Ssewagudde, an illegal immigrant, was convicted at the High Court of rape this week after messaging the victim on Facebook admitting his crime.
"I admit it. I raped you." He said on Facebook. When those words were shown to the jury during his trial, in which he had pleaded not guilty to rape, he was found guilty and sentenced to four years in prison.
He is now fighting deportation from behind his prison bars, by seeking asylum, saying that if he is sent back to his native Uganda he will be stoned to death for being GAY!
3. post indecent images of children on Facebook
John Huitema, a 37 year old Dutch national living in Britain, had his sentenced deferred for six months after pleading guilty to child assault and possessing or making indecent images of children after uploading vile images of his activities to Facebook. Among his victims was a two year old girl. His two Facebook profiles were by the name 'Benwwantsit' and “Barrywwantit.”
While uploading child pornography to Facebook is incredibly stupid, knowing that it will be lucky to last five minutes there before someone reports it, I have no sympathy for sick twisted individuals such as this, and have in fact posted his full name, as reported in the newspapers, as well as his Facebook names, so that we can all keep an eye on this pervert.
4. Planking - and on a railway line!1
A 14 year old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons was found guilty in court of 'trespass' after posting photos of himself 'planking' on a York (England) railway line.
Sentence was deferred for good behaviour.
"Trespass" really just means he was on property that did not belong to him and where he had no right to be.
5. Don't become a serial attacker while you have a Facebook profile
Scott Simmonds, 22, got him come-uppance when a court sentenced him to ten months for a series of vicious unprovoked street assaults. One of his victims identified his attacker through his photograph on Facebook.
He had committed six offences within a ten week period, randomly attacking strangers in the street, but he really picked on the wrong one when he attacked stranger Barry Machel as he waited at a bus stop.
Machel went home and scrolled through everyone from his home town on Facebook until he came across Simmonds. He promptly informed police.
6. Don't post photos of yourself imitating a postman delivering a parcel bomb
Student Lee Dunlop,22, escaped a jail sentence after posting a photograph of himself dressed in a Postman Pat's outfit and holding a package addressed to Glasgow Celtic manager Neil Lennon on Facebook.
He posted this just one week after two men were charged with sending explosive and hoax bombs to Mr Lennon.
7. Don't try and defraud an insurance company and then post photos on Facebook
Mr loveday had previously claimed a six figure sum from insurance company Acromas after being involved in a road traffic accident with their insured client, Edward Neild.
Lorry driver loveday had claimed in court that he could no longer drive, was wheelchair bound, afraid to leave home and that he had had to give up his hobby, caravanning.
Insurance investigators watching his house covertly, watched as he effortlessly lifted his twin-axle caravan to attach it to his four wheel drive Landrover, prior to both loveday and his wife leaving for a six week vacation to Italy, via France, Belgium and Switzerland.
loveday then eased their workload by uploading all his vacation photographs to Facebook during his trip.
After his return, he signed a statement at his solicitor's office saying that he had been unable to drive and that the couple actually flown to their destination and back, having used the airport's wheelchair service for disabled people.
In addition to loveday being jailed for nine months for Contempt of Court, after being found guilty of lying to the court a total of 14 times, his wife Susan, who had backed up his statements, was given a six months suspended jail sentence.
8. Libel a hospital when they misdiagnose your illness
Indonesia woman, Prita Mulyasari, emailed her friends to say that her local hospital had misdiagnosed her illness.
They diagnosed Dengue Fever when in actual fact she had Mumps.
One of her friends posted her complaint on Facebook, with the result that her local hospital sued her for libel.
In a case lasting three years and subject to media attention, she was finally found guilty and sentenced to a six months suspended jail term by the Indonesian Supreme Court.
9. Don't solicit young girls for sex on Facebook when you are a professional footballer
Professional footballer Craig Thompson, 20, groomed several young girls for sex on Facebook.
Despite knowing that one was only 12 years of age, he asked her to expose her body online.
To the other, aged 13, he engaged in chat of a sexual nature and sent photos of his private parts. He was found guilty of lewd, libidinous and indecent behaviour.
He was sacked by Scottish Premier League side Hearts of Midlothian after public pressure was applied.
10. discuss your boss's shortcomings
In Australia, a group of five prison officers have gone to court to fight for the right to complain about their boss on the internet.
Now known in Australia as The Facebook Five, their jobs are on the line after they opened a private Facebook page to discuss not only their boss, but their general working conditions.
They discussed the short-comings of their boss in less than glowing terms, and are now threatened with dismissal over their comments.
Corrective Services Commissioner Ron Woodham, their boss, is reported to be less than amused.
It is unclear how prison bosses gained access to their discussion.
But, would you be happy with knowing that anything you have described in a 'private' Facebook page could be seen by whoever you choose to discuss?