Does ‘liking’ a story or an image on Facebook mean you necessarily agree with it? And even if it does, is a prison term warranted if the story is offensive enough or the image is gruesome enough?
One unnamed man in France is finding out the hard way the limits on free expression in Europe.
According to the New York Post, the 32-year-old just got sentenced to a 3-month prison term by a Meaux correctional court merely for liking a photograph on Facebook.
Granted, the picture was of an ISIS fighter cutting a woman’s head off, so his conviction was actually for supporting a terrorist group.
Acting federal prosecutor Jean Baptiste Bougerol explains the logic this way: “When you hit ‘like’ it means that you are not shocked by what you see and you support it.”
On the basis of the ‘like’ alone, authorities searched the man’s home and found some marijuana plants and airsoft guns, but nothing that tied him to an actual ISIS group.
Which meant prosecutors could now only charge him for the ‘like,’ for which he received the 3-month term. They also added a fine for the pot.
The man argued that that particular image was one of many disturbing images of violence toward both people and animals he had ‘liked,’ and not all were connected to ISIS.
The court didn’t agree.
Is this man clearly disturbed in more than one way? Of course. Should he go to prison merely for ‘liking’ a Facebook post? It depends on whether we want to send people to prison for ‘liking’ things some consider too violent or disturbing … something like, say, Game of Thrones!
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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