I don’t usually call into radio shows. Especially not at 11:45pm on a Friday night. But last night, I felt compelled to do so. The reason was Mark Byron, the man who has been court ordered to write an apology to his (soon to be) ex wife on Facebook, or spend 60 days in jail. And Mark Byron was on Nightside with Dan Rea.
So I called. And I talked for a minute about how Mark is being used as an example because the judicial system does not know how to deal with social media platforms. And Dan Rea was talking primarily about how this was a 1st Amendment issue more than anything else.
Now, if you haven’t read anything or heard anything about this, keep in mind that Mark Byron posted a status update a while back talking about how ridiculous it is for a vindictive woman to take her husband’s son away from him. There was not mention of his wife. It was just a generalized statement, clearly showing how pissed he was about his particular situation, but in no way giving details about what was going on, nor did he EVER mention his wife’s name. His post could have been about any ONE or any THING.
The backlash of that post was that his wife allegedly had a spy tell her what he was posting about, as she was blocked, and his FB page was locked down and private to anyone who was not his friend.
Um… annoy her??? Because you can put something like that in a protective order or restraining order and it’s court mandated??? What if I wanted to claim that my brother or parents were annoying me? Does that give me the right to keep them away from me and send them to jail if they annoy me??? Ugh. That’s beside the point.
The issue is the 1st Amendment which allows the freedom of speech. And whether or not something like this can hold water.
The facts are that he made a general statement and he’s being punished for it because his wife, who was probably violating her own order by sending in a spy to gather ANY information that COULD be incriminating to use against her husband.
There were many other callers, most of them empathized with Mark simply on the grounds that a FB post got him in trouble when it clearly should have.
Look. Everyone has privacy issues from time to time. But let’s face it. If someone really wants to see what you’re doing they can. Personally, I have all my accounts locked down as much as I possibly can. If you don’t know me, or aren’t friends with me, you can’t see me or find me unless I find you. And I did this strategically. Anyone can see what you write or what you do. You say the wrong thing and you’re out of the running for that really awesome job you just interviewed for. Someone takes one word you write out of context and you’ve started a war amongst your family or friends. Social media is great, and it’s new technology, and it’s the way of the future. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be mindful of what we say and do and who might be watching.
Now, I’m not saying this to disagree with Mark. I actually agree that he did nothing wrong. And I strongly disagree with his punishment. And I disagree even more strongly with the issues dealing with his protective order and not being able to see his son because his wife claims he was a bad husband – I don’t know the whole story. But in this instance, he’s being punished an awful lot, and I don’t believe it fits the crime. But I can’t really speak to his personal life. I can only speak to his FB privacy issues.
So now that I’ve gotten all dramatic and preachy, what is your take on Mark Byron’s situation?