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30-year-old man fined just under $3K for Facebook 'fraping'

Man fined for 'fraping.'
Man fined for 'fraping.'
Flickr Creative Commons, Johan Larsson

A man has been criminally charged for the first time for ‘fraping’. Fraping, as Vice News reported on Tuesday, is a term popularized by an Irish senator that is meant to mean ‘raped on Facebook’ (though a less controversial term —’fiolated’ or anything else that doesn’t drag in the term ‘rape’—seems for more appropriate). In this case, it refers to an incident where an Irish man took his ex-girlfriend’s phone and posted a rude and embarrassing status to her wall.

The 30-year-old man, after suspecting his ex had moved on, reportedly entered her home in April of 2011 with the intent of confronting her. When he left, he took her phone with him to look through text messages. Upon discovering that she had taken up with someone new, he posted on Facebook, using her own account, that the woman was a ‘whore’ and was taking offers.

He was also accused of false imprisonment and rape during the time he entered her home, but he was acquitted of both charges. Shortly after posting the status, he was arrested.

Under Ireland’s Criminal Damages Act of 1991, the man could have faced the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $13,600. In court, the man did plead guilty.

However, a judge decided that in this case, a monetary fine would suffice. The man was ordered to pay $2,700. In light of what he could have been forced to pay, he got off pretty easily, but when you consider he just paid close to $3,000 for one Facebook status update, that’s got to hurt.

This case marks the first time that someone has been criminally prosecuted for damages done via a social media account. Now that a precedent has been set, this case could result in far more lawsuits against those who access someone else’s Facebook and post libelous and damaging posts or photos. Watch out, high school pranksters and scorned, grown adults.

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