How many of your Facebook friends are you actually friends with?
This was the base of the argument that Michael Hurst successfully used to have his stalking charges dismissed this week against his ex-girlfriend. Hurst was accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend after sending her a friend request via Facebook, which she didn’t accept. Although the court said that Hurst sent the request in poor judgment, it wasn’t proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
“”Facebook friends” was ‘friendship in the traditional sense’” said Hurst, as he argued his case. “(Radio DJ) Chris Moyles has one-and-a-half million Facebook friends. Do you think he knows them all intimately?” This was believed to be the first Facebook stalking case in the UK.
This case addresses a very debatable topic of what a ‘Facebook friend’ actually is. Is this someone you consider an acquaintance, or can you have lunch with them? Of course there will be a large mix, but where do you draw the line? According to the result of Hurst’s case, being ‘Facebook friends’ with someone isn’t a big commitment.
There are even some Facebook groups the address the issue of ‘Facebook friends’ ignoring each other when they cross paths. Some groups flaunt how they routinely walk by their Facebook friends and turn the other direction, while others demand to be acknowledged by someone if they run into each other.
How do you define who your ‘Facebook friends’ are?