Nikita Richardson
January 16, 2016 8:18 am

It’s not too unusual for people to snipe each other via Facebook and usually there are very few consequences (except for the hit your reputation may take).

That’s not the case, though, for one Maria Gonzalez, who according to reports, may land in jail for harassing someone a court specifically told her not to.

The New York Law Journal reports that Gonzalez logged into Facebook to throw shade at her soon-to-be former sister-in-law, Maribel Calderon, and then tagged her. Simply tagging Calderon violated a protection order barring Gonzalez from making any attempts to communicate with her.

Gonzalez called Calderon “stupid” in the post, adding “You and your family are sad…You guys have to come stronger than that!! I’m way over you guys but I guess not in ya agenda.”

Because tagging someone on Facebook means they receive a notification, Gonzalez was charged with second-degree criminal contempt and could face a year in jail. Her attorney attempted to get her out of it, saying that Facebook wasn’t covered under the protection order, but the judge disagreed, citing the section of the order that bars Gonzalez from reaching out “by electronic or other means.” Gonzalez’s attorney won’t be appealing the ruling.

This case is another in a series of cases that will hopefully set a precedent for how the law handles misconduct on the Internet. In the United Kingdom, convictions for Internet “trolling” grew by 745 percent between 2004 and 2014 while stateside very few laws have been put in place to protect people, most of whom are women, from online harassment.

Here’s hoping that this incident, however small, will make a few cyberbullies think twice before they attack someone online.

(Image via Shutterstock.)

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