Try to hire a hitman on Facebook; get charged with a felony.

As the law of social media continues to evolve, I am impressed with how wise jurists are being in their decision making processes.

As I have said many times, social media and an individual’s conduct on it should be treated no differently from off-line behavior. The main difference between social media conduct and off-line behavior is the number of people who can see what has been posted and the evidence left behind.

In a new case a Pennsylvania Judge has determined that the effort of a woman to hire a hitman via Facebook makes her eligible for felony charges.

The woman has offered the usual excuse, i.e. that she was joking. Well, whether she was joking is a matter for trier of fact. But I note that the joking excuse hasn’t done well for those politicians who have claimed the same about pictures they posted online in their efforts to, well, you know what they were trying to do.

Alas,  for the defendant, a joke rarely is accompanied by the address and a description of the potential victim, along with the promise to pay $1,000.  In this case, the person the defendant hired is a teenager.

For more information please see the initial article about the effort to hire the teenager, followed by a second article about the Judge upholding the charges. More details here.

Thank goodness the plan was foiled.   It is fortunate so many criminals are very stupid. This will be an interesting case to follow.

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