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Can you get arrested over so called cyber harassment on facebook?

Los Angeles, CA |

Hello, while on facebook a few years ago, my old friend from college was a suggested friend, so I added her. I recently tried to send messages to this person and she replied. Then I continued replying and got no replies. I then was posting on her wall and I noticed she did not reply for some time. But all of a sudden I got a post on that wall saying please leave me alone now, and I wont press charges. What charges? What? Isnt harrasment when someone makes threats or insults or is trying to wreak some sort of benefit from another person? I was trying to talk to an old friend.

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Attorney answers 3


No, you can't arrested for this, and no civilian can "press charges," only a District Attorney can do that after someone reports a crime to the police and the police in turn refer it to them for prosecution.

Facebook is like any other form of communication with anyone, except that people seem to take it extremely seriously and seem to make it a big part of their interaction. If someone ignores your contact , take the hint and leave them alone.

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yeah thats what I thought. But dont they have to tell you to leave them alone? Because its not like I was bugging them for a month, I posted 2 messages in the span on 5 days and then suddenly got told this message? And they talked to me before and did not seem hostile... Thank you very much.

Pamela Koslyn

Pamela Koslyn


No, there aren't any rules about communicating, or any requirement that someone has to warn you before they sue you, if they're going to sue you or report you to the police for what they claim is a claim. This person overreacts and isn't a good communicator. And apparently you're not a good communicator either. That's good treason for both of you to stick to face-to-face contact and not try ot rely on pseudo-cyber relationships where you can easily miscontrue written messages and can't read facial cues and body language.



Well put Ms. Koslyn. Some people do take Facebook too seriously.


You should have figured out at the time of the 2nd ignored message that no contact was desired. Further contact after that was insensitive. It was not, however, a crime. So, learn the nature of online boundaries from this incident. There is no way I can see for any charges.

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This is another example of people on the Internet just spouting off to generate fear in the recipient. I don't think your actions would rise to the level of harassment and doubt very seriously that any local DA would pursue this case. But yes, learn your etiquette online.

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