Things that count as harassment: racial slurs, unwanted touching. Things that aren’t harassment: your uncle uploading a Facebook photo of you that you don’t like. This isn’t hard, people.
But Facebook has this odd effect on our lives, skewing our perception of what is real and what is just crap on some website you don’t have to look at. Take for example Aaron Olson, a man from Minnesota, who sued his uncle for posting pictures of him as a kid, with captions such as “posing in front of a Christmas tree” and some comments Olson thought were mean.
The uncle, Randall LaBrie, said he’d untag Olson in the photos, but added that if Olson didn’t want to see them, he should simply log off. The district court, of course, dismissed the case with a Dikembe Mutombo finger wag, stating that these photos in no way constituted harassment.
Olson wished to represent himself in court, and received a “fair hearing,” plus proper training on approaching a witness and presenting evidence, said judge Natalie E. Hudson. But Olson claimed the court was biased against him because of his religious beliefs and socioeconomic status.
Law blogger Eric Goldman says it sounds like there was some long-standing feud between Olson and LaBrie, who were not friends on Facebook when the pictures were posted. Duh — here’s a spoiled grown-up kid used to getting his way and an uncle who clearly resents him.
Listen, all, if you’ve got a family spat, don’t bring government institutions down into your boring melodrama. Settle it like men — over a string of snarky Facebook comments and awkward photos. Then post screenshots for the rest of us to laugh at.
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