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View Full Version : Liberty under attack! Lying on Facebook could become a crime.


FreakyLocz14
November 16th, 2011, 05:51 PM
This is just frigtening. Are we to become an Orwellian society?
http://blogs.ajc.com/news-to-me/2011/11/16/lying-on-facebook-could-become-federal-crime/

Discuss.

jpp8
November 16th, 2011, 05:59 PM
They knowingly provided false information and violated the terms of service of the websites they signed up for. They should've read the information more carefully and/or followed them. Justice shall be served. Another victory for America.

FreakyLocz14
November 16th, 2011, 06:04 PM
They knowingly provided false information and violated the terms of service of the websites they signed up for. They should've read the information more carefully and/or followed them. Justice shall be served. Another victory for America.

This authoritarian line of thinking is beyond disturbing. It's frightening.

Do you want the feds policing Facebook? Terms of service are an agreement between the user and Facebook. Facebook can block the violating user if necessary. Federal prosecutions are beyond excessive.

Mr. X
November 16th, 2011, 06:16 PM
Should FB be allowed to verify the information provided? Yes.
Should FB allowed to delete your account if they find that you provided false information? Yes
Should FB report you for doing so? If your state has laws against providing false information for sites like these, then yes. Otherwise, no.
Should the Fed make it illegal to provide false information when registering on websites? This is a somewhat hard question to answer. I'm of two minds. For web based payment services, such as paypal, imo the answer is yes. For sites like Facebook? No. Let the states decide that for themselves.

The government isn't trying to make it a crime to lie on Facebook, so shame on you and George for intentionally creating misleading titles. What they are trying to make a crime is knowingly (or unknowingly, not really sure) violating a websites ToS. Which is something that a lot of sites, not just Facebook, have.

FreakyLocz14
November 16th, 2011, 06:21 PM
Should FB be allowed to verify the information provided? Yes.
Should FB allowed to delete your account if they find that you provided false information? Yes
Should FB report you for doing so? If your state has laws against providing false information for sites like these, then yes. Otherwise, no.
Should the Fed make it illegal to provide false information when registering on websites? This is a somewhat hard question to answer. I'm of two minds. For web based payment services, such as paypal, imo the answer is yes. For sites like Facebook? No. Let the states decide that for themselves.

The government isn't trying to make it a crime to lie on Facebook, so shame on you and George for intentionally creating misleading titles. What they are trying to make a crime is knowingly (or unknowingly, not really sure) violating a websites ToS. Which is something that a lot of sites, not just Facebook, have.

Violating a ToS by providing false or misleading information is lying. This would fall under contract law, imo. If you agree to FB's ToS, they are free to ban you. We already have laws on the books against fraud. Intentionally misleading someone for a financial gain is fraud.

Oryx
November 16th, 2011, 06:23 PM
Well honestly while that may not be the sole intent of the law, that doesn't mean that things such as that shouldn't be considered. While it's probable that even if this passed Facebook wouldn't sue everyone that they caught with a fake name, you would still be breaking a law.

Imo websites are like corporations. Just like you can be fired for breaking a contract that doesn't break a law, you can be banned from a site if you violate the terms of service. It's between the website and the person, not the government. Although I'm curious the actual reasoning of how this would work since the original article was very obviously biased.

FreakyLocz14
November 16th, 2011, 06:32 PM
Well honestly while that may not be the sole intent of the law, that doesn't mean that things such as that shouldn't be considered. While it's probable that even if this passed Facebook wouldn't sue everyone that they caught with a fake name, you would still be breaking a law.

Imo websites are like corporations. Just like you can be fired for breaking a contract that doesn't break a law, you can be banned from a site if you violate the terms of service. It's between the website and the person, not the government. Although I'm curious the actual reasoning of how this would work since the original article was very obviously biased.

This would go beyond tort law (lawsuits). The proposed law is criminal, meaning one can be put in prison over this.

I agree that these matters should be between the website and the user. We don't need to expand the police state.

Oryx
November 16th, 2011, 06:46 PM
Yeah I was agreeing with you, my post was supposed to be in reply to Mr. X's claim that the title is misleading, lol. I got ninja'd.

-ty-
November 16th, 2011, 07:18 PM
Facebook has the right to ban/limit you from creating accounts if you violate terms of their policies, but beyond the scope of "facebook" policy, the law should not incriminate people for providing false information on a social media website. Will people who are married be incriminated for saying that they are single?

I think that making threats or libel should still be considered illegal on social networking though. They are considered illegal in the virtual world as well as the real-world. If I tell my friends that my name is Rick, then sure, they can think I am awful for lying to them, but certainly it would not be a crime. If it is not a crime in-person, it probably should not be a crime online. Now false information on a food stamps application is a different story...certainly that would not be considered in the arena of social interaction.

FreakyLocz14
November 16th, 2011, 07:27 PM
Facebook has the right to ban/limit you from creating accounts if you violate terms of their policies, but beyond the scope of "facebook" policy, the law should not incriminate people for providing false information on a social media website. Will people who are married be incriminated for saying that they are single?

I think that making threats or libel should still be considered illegal on social networking though. They are considered illegal in the virtual world as well as the real-world. If I tell my friends that my name is Rick, then sure, they can think I am awful for lying to them, but certainly it would not be a crime. If it is not a crime in-person, it probably should not be a crime online. Now false information on a food stamps application is a different story...certainly that would not be considered in the arena of social interaction.

There are many reasons to lie about your personal information. A legitimate reason is to protect your privacy. If Facebook doesn't allow that, they are more than free to ban users from their privately owned site.

Slander and libel aren't crimes, they are torts. You can't be put in jail, but you can be sued by the person you slandered if they suffered damages. As for criminal threats, that would depend on how severe they are and the probability of them actually being carried out.

Blade_of_darkness
November 16th, 2011, 07:39 PM
Wow... Just reading this makes me glad that I don't even touch Facebook.

I would pretty much would keep everything about me to myself, so that nobody would know but myself. I think that place has a lot of privacy options, which allows you to put severe restrictions as to who gets to see what about you, & in return, they're expecting you to tell the truth about yourself.

So I would believe that it would be fair.

Mr. X
November 16th, 2011, 09:01 PM
There are many reasons to lie about your personal information. A legitimate reason is to protect your privacy. If Facebook doesn't allow that, they are more than free to ban users from their privately owned site.


Just saying, but if you are not comfortable with giving out your information then you shouldn't even bother making an account.

Oryx
November 16th, 2011, 09:03 PM
Just saying, but if you are not comfortable with giving out your information then you shouldn't even bother making an account.

This is pretty irrelevant to the topic at hand. It's not about whether or not you should make an account if you want to lie about something for whatever reason, legitimate or not. It's whether that lying, which breaks a contract you signed when you registered, should be considered a criminal offense worth jail time.

Lance
November 16th, 2011, 09:14 PM
This has got to be the stupidest thing I've ever seen.

Katholic Nun
November 16th, 2011, 09:14 PM
Do you want the feds policing Facebook? Terms of service are an agreement between the user and Facebook. Facebook can block the violating user if necessary. Federal prosecutions are beyond excessive.

This, essentially. Even setting aside the factor of "LOL calm down, you're Facebook stop taking yourself so seriously", Terms of Use, if they were really honest with themselves, are next to void. Nobody reads them, they're something you pretend you've read and click "Yes" so that the website feels comfortable that they are absolved from responsibility.

Unless somebody has posted something offensive or inappropriate on their website, it is not up to them to police whether people are who they claim to be, much less report them to the police. I completely agree with Freaky, this is an attack on liberty.

G.U.Y.
November 16th, 2011, 10:39 PM
I don't see why violating the terms of service of a website should be a federal crime, I don't see what the federal government has to do with this at all, or any government for that matter. This just seems like a completely unnecessary intrusion of our lives.

Just have the website ban you if you lie about your information (if they care, more than likely they won't). Problem solved.

Esper
November 17th, 2011, 09:29 AM
I can see there being a reason to have some kind of government involvement in whether someone lied/misrepresented themselves/broke terms of service if and only if their doing so was part of some other criminal activity. But even that seems really unnecessary. If you tried to fraud somebody online that's already a crime: fraud. I can't see how the breaking of the terms of service makes the crime any more heinous or worthy of being a criminal offense in its own right. If you just want to be able to contact your friends on facebook (because you're in the unfortunate situation of having friends who'll only communicate through facebook) without having the whole world following your every electronic move then that's nothing criminal and shouldn't be treated as such if you're found out to have broken the ToS in such a harmless way.

Mario The World Champion
November 17th, 2011, 08:12 PM
Could someone please enlighten me about what is considered "lying" on Facebook? If it's all about you personal information and all of it is wrong and it's a lie, just delete it or put nothing in.

Oryx
November 17th, 2011, 09:09 PM
Could someone please enlighten me about what is considered "lying" on Facebook? If it's all about you personal information and all of it is wrong and it's a lie, just delete it or put nothing in.

For example, the Facebook roleplayers (who I think are kinda dumb but roll with it) would have the opportunity to be jailed for what they're doing. If you want Facebook or feel like you need it to keep in touch with certain people but don't feel comfortable with your name out there on the internet then you may do something that obscures your name, such as using an initial or a nickname. That would also be criminal.

This doesn't just apply to Facebook either. Using any website that has a ToS and breaking it is the same.

Mario The World Champion
November 18th, 2011, 05:15 AM
For example, the Facebook roleplayers (who I think are kinda dumb but roll with it) would have the opportunity to be jailed for what they're doing. If you want Facebook or feel like you need it to keep in touch with certain people but don't feel comfortable with your name out there on the internet then you may do something that obscures your name, such as using an initial or a nickname. That would also be criminal.

This doesn't just apply to Facebook either. Using any website that has a ToS and breaking it is the same.

Okay, I think I get that. I got my own Facebook page and I do use my real name there because I would be a bit embarassed if I used my PC username there.

PkMnTrainer Yellow
November 18th, 2011, 08:48 AM
Are we to become an Orwellian society?

No. This law is a joke that doesn't really have a chance of getting passed. If anything though, Facebook would probably love this stuff. Facebook's founder is notorious for his beliefs upon the subject of anonymity for taking it to an anti-anonymous extreme.

Zet
November 19th, 2011, 05:41 AM
I think we should ban facebook. They still track us even if we logout.