Ever thought that you posted “harmless” Facebook statuses from your friend’s account? Well, you should be careful because for the first time, an Irish man who posted an embarrassing status to his ex-girlfriend’s Facebook account plead guilty to criminal charges and was fined $2,700.
“Fraping,” a term possibly popularized by an Irish senator, is a combination of the word “Rape” and “Facebook.” On Urbandictionary, it is defined as “The act of Raping someones Facebook profile when they leave it logged in. Profile pictures, sexuality and interests are commonly changed however fraping can include the poking or messaging of strangers from someone else’s Facebook account.” The word has provoked controversy, as it compares misuse of social media accounts with sexual assault.
The case involved a man who reportedly broke into his ex-girlfriend’s house when he suspected that she had moved on to another relationship. After he left, she realized that her phone was gone, he had looked through her text messages, realized she was with someone else, and posted a statuses on her Facebook account saying that she was a “whore” and “would take any offers.”
In an unprecedented case, the Irish man was prosecuted under Ireland’s Criminal Damages Act, which was passed in 1991. If found guilty, he could have faced a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, and a $13,600 fine.
While he was acquitted by a jury on charges of false imprisonment and rape, the judge determined a monetary penalty was more appropriate for his criminal behavior than prison time, thus fining the defendant $2,700.