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Tuesday, 4 February 2014 | MYT 8:00 AM
by rashvinjeet s. bedi
THE next time you post a status or a reply on Facebook, make sure you have thought your post through before getting it out there in cyberspace.
Because once the Enter key is pressed, your posts are digitally archived and cannot be deleted (especially if someone has taken a screen capture of the post). These posts can change lives (dramatically in some cases) as some people have learned ... the hard way.
1. Anton Casey, a British expat in Singapore, posted a picture of his son in the MRT with the caption "Daddy, where is your car & who are all these poor people?." His next post was that of his Porsche with the caption "Normal service can resume, once I have washed the stench of public transport off me." After an uproar that caused him to lose his job and receive a few death threats in the bargain, Casey fled to Australia with his family. There is no record as to how comfortable he was on his flight.
2. Michael Ruse was given a 46-week prison sentence (suspended for two years) for assault after telling his friends on Facebook that he "thought he had got away with it." He had initially posted "Another week at court!" as his Facebook status update. When a friend asked him about the case, Ruse said "Yeah I think I get away with it tbh (to be honest) x," adding it was "looking good." The exchange was printed out and handed anonymously to the prosecution according to a report on The Telegraph.
3. Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan and Jordan Blackshaw were sentenced to four years in prison for inviting people to riot in Warrington and Northwich Town respectively. This invitation was "in conjunction" with the infamous London riots in 2011. No one attended the "events" except for the police who nabbed both the youngsters.
4. Canadian woman Nathalie Blanchard, who was on sick leave for depression, lost her sick-benefits when her insurance agent found photos of her "having fun" on Facebook. This included a picture of her at a beach and another of her attending a Chippendales bar show.
5. A mall in Petaling Jaya learned a very important public relations lesson after it had just opened. When told about their non-functioning lifts on their Facebook page, the page administrator took it to himself to sarcastically remark that the mall "did not know magic" and "could not snap their fingers to make changes." That exchange went viral as well and earned a place in the news.
6. Brandon Lowry of Louisana, was hauled up for investigation by the state's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for violating the limit set for the shooting of migratory birds. Lowry posted a photo showing 64 dead blue-winged teal ducks when the daily limit was four birds per person per day with a two-day possession limit of eight. Lowry soon found his wings clipped.
7. A wedding picture of herself in Barbados led to Hazel Cunningham being arrested and then jailed for 120 days. The crime was not for getting married but for fleecing the taxpayer of thousands of pounds in false benefits claims. This included wrongly-claimed income support, housing benefit and council tax benefits. An investigator from the Ashford Borough council saw pictures of her vacationing with her children in Turkey and enjoying an elaborate wedding in Barbados. Cunningham had claimed that she was a single mother. She was ordered to pay back the £15,000 she had claimed, in addition to jail time.
8. Four bank robbers were arrested after posting Facebook updates "I'm rich" and "Wipe my teeth with hundreds" after an armed robbery at a bank in Houston, Texas in 2013. Police were tipped off about the postings. The robbers had got off with US$62,000 according to reports.
10. Spanish train driver Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, the train driver of a fatal crash that killed 80 in Spain in July 2013, had previously boasted on Facebook about how fast he was driving a train. A few months earlier, he had posted a picture of a train speedometer at 200kmph with the caption "I'm at the limit and I can't go any faster or they will give me a fine." He is currently facing charges of negligent homicide.
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