In the digital age it appears more and more people are being investigated for their involvements in criminal actions they share and post on social media. Reported today, Christine Adamski was on a doggie Facebook page, and left a comment that almost landed her a ticket.
Adamski, a dog sitter from the Chicago area, had responded to a kennel cough outbreak posting on the Whalon Park Dog Park groups Facebook page, “ I was feeling bad that I haven’t bought a pass and been bringing Ginger there but I’m pretty glad I haven’t,” Adamski commented. “So not going to worry about it until later. I hope all the doggies get better soon.” Apparently a “forest protection district employee” turned her comment over to a “forest preserve protection officer,” according to the Chicago Tribune, May 30. Her comment got into the hands of a park officer -- who by the way didn’t further investigate the issue. Still the purpose of obtaining a permit is to ensure all dogs who use the park are current on their state required shots, said Lt. Tracey Phillips of the Will County Forest Preserve District Police, according to Yahoo. Wouldn't a dog sitter know these rules?
So what happened to Adamski who knowingly skirted paying the park fee, and let her self-described guilt dissolve because the kennel cough was announced? She decided to fight the ticket.
Evidently, the $50 ticket was revoked because protocol steps for issuing a ticket failed, due to the officer not investigating further. Just before Adamski started the appeal process she got a phone call telling her, the charges are being dropped regarding her comment on Facebook. She apparently told other reporters that the charges “were totally untrue,” and she had not been in the vicinity since around 2013. Nevertheless, this isn’t the first time Facebook comments have been used in prosecuting people.
In 2012, The Telegraph released a news report using criminal data which indicated every 40 minutes a crime is involved with social media posts; everything from witnessing a murder, to child predators. So what kind of privacy protections do law abiding Facebook users have even when their pages are set to private? None according to lawyer Heather Hansen who spoke with Fox News; people using social media should acknowledge that everything from photos, comments, likes and other technical social interactions are open “to searches, possibly without your knowledge.” She said to think of all of your social media as a T.V. show open for anyone to watch -- even if it’s set to private.