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Court Rules Woman Must Stop Ranting About Her Kids and Ex on Facebook

Illustration for article titled Court Rules Woman Must Stop Ranting About Her Kids and Ex on Facebook

A New Jersey appellate court has ruled constitutional a judge's decision to ban a woman from ranting about her children and ex-husband on Facebook. Unfortunately, this is not a light-hearted story about some lady who just wouldn't shut up about Junior making poopy in the potty. (Those people are still allowed to use the social network.)

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According to the Courier News, the order was originally issued in 2011 as part of an ugly custody battle. Apparently, the woman attempted to kidnap her two kids and escape to Canada; the Facebook ban was a condition of her probation, along with psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

Unconventional, yes, but the Star Ledger reports that her posts "mentioned the Book of Revelations, Jeffrey Dahmer, Satan and Adolph Hitler," and the judge characterized them as "rambling, irrational, disturbing, bizarre." A state shrink apparently ruled she wasn't dangerous, but the county prosecutor successfully made the case that the posts were scaring the shit out of her kids. Even then, she didn't stop (and she didn't get treatment, either):

But the mother, who had copped a plea deal dismissing the first-degree kidnapping charge and who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, continued to write bizarre and disturbing Facebook posts in 2012 that used the word "Camelot" to refer to her family. The judge found that the posting violated her probation and she appealed.

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According to the Courier News, the appeals court decided that "the special condition was imposed with the purpose of advancing her rehabilitation, 'namely, to deter her from engaging in behavior that is harmful to her victims and to lead a law-abiding life.'" They didn't buy that the rule interfered with her freedom of speech, since she could post about literally anything else.

(h/t Newser)

Photo via Shutterstock.

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DISCUSSION

Sort of related, but even before Facebook, wee me hated when I would hear my mom on the phone venting to her friends about something I did wrong that day. I can't imagine how kids growing up these days are going to feel when/if they find out that every poop and every tantrum they ever had has been documented for other peoples' perusal and commentary. I get that keeping people abreast of what is going on in your life is important, that having a space to vent about the troubles of parenthood is necessary, but please think of your kids' right to privacy.