Spending time on Facebook could earn you time behind bars.
Just ask Mark Zuckerberg — the site's founder and CEO has seen many a lawsuit thanks to his global platform. There was that time the Winklevoss twins sued him for the site's ownership, and the class action lawsuit that claimed Facebook read user messages. There's even a new lawsuit claiming Zuckerberg lets his company's directors pay themselves too much.
However, e-citizens of the Facebook world don't let Zuckerberg have all the fun. Plenty of people have engaged in dubious activity that has netted them lawsuits and jail time.
Here are seven people who got into legal trouble just this year.
1. Tread lightly near Iran's government
British woman Roya Saberi Negad Nobakht, 47, was visiting Iran when she decided topost Facebook comments about the country's government, saying it was "too Islamic." According to her husband, Daryoush Taghipoor, Nobakht was arrested by police as she touched down in Shiraz, for “participation with intent to commit crime against national security” and “insulting Islamic sanctities."
Nobakht was charged to 20 years in prison. There is no British embassy in Iran, so her family is attempting to work with the Swedish embassy to negotiate her release.
2. Hit men and Catfish-ing
Nineteen-year-old Marissa Williams allegedly had a habit of meeting up with strangers on the Internet. Concerned, her aunt created a fake profile of a man named Tre "Topdog" Ellis, and added Williams as a friend, to monitor her niece's online activity.
Williams and "Ellis" began chatting regularly; she reportedly offered to have sex with him if he would pay her $50 phone bill. Then, she told Ellis that she wanted him to kidnap her from her Alabama home. She said if her aunt tried to stop her, Ellis should kill her.
The plans got darker, as Williams told Ellis how to get into her aunt's bedroom. She told him to kill her aunt, her aunt's fiancé, her cousin and the family dog.
Williams' aunt called the local sheriff after reading the troubling messages. Williams confessed to the plot, but claimed she didn't want anyone to really get hurt. She was arrested and taken to the county jail on charges of solicitation of murder.
3. Medical status gets out to the public
What happens in your hospital, stays in your hospital — until someone posts your medical records on Facebook.
Shantelle Twurley was being treated for a sexually transmitted disease at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. However, someone at the hospital decided to take a screenshot of her medical record (which showed her name and diagnosis) and post it on Facebook. They posted it to the group "Team No Hoes," as well as emailing the image to members of the group.
Twurley filed a lawsuit in June against the hospital, as well as Ryan Rawls, her ex-boyfriend, who works at the hospital. She's seeking $25,000 in damages for "invasion of privacy, emotional distress, malice and negligence."
4. Prince gets royally pissed off
If you're a Prince fan, be careful of your Facebook activity. The Purple One found out his online fans had been sharing bootleg recordings with one another on fan sites and Facebook, and he was not pleased.
The regal singer, who has sued fans before, filed a lawsuit in January against 22 individuals for $22 million. Two of the named Facebook users run a Prince fan page.
He dropped the suit a few days later, citing that "because of the recent pressure, the bootleggers have now taken down the illegal downloads and are no longer engaging in piracy."
5. Facebook likes are worth a lawsuit
Stacy Mattocks was a huge fan of the CW TV show The Game. When it was cancelled in 2009, she started a social media campaign to revive it, which included starting a Facebook page for the show.
Her efforts eventually worked, with BET later reviving the program in 2011. By then, the page had gathered 6 million likes.
BET offered her a job as a social media coordinator that year, but she rejected it, because she would've had to give up authority on the Facebook page. BET offered her more money, in exchange for the page, but Mattocks again refused. The two went back and forth numerous times.
Then, the company asked Facebook to remove the page, because it was using BET's intellectual property. Mattocks filed a lawsuit this year, citing that her back and forth issues with BET had caused her to lose money.
6. When receipts go viral
In 2013, a waitress named Toni Christina Jenkins was finishing up a shift at a Red Lobster in Tennessee. After collecting a $45 bill from a couple, she noticed there was something scrawled on the tip section. Instead of leaving a tip, one of the customers had left nothing and called her a racial slur.
Jenkins posted a photo of the receipt with the customer's name, Devin Barnes, on it. Her Facebook caption read: "This is what I got as a tip last night. So happy to live in the proud southern states... God Bless America, land of the free and home of the low class racists of Tennessee."
The photo went viral, though Barnes didn't take action until May. He filed a lawsuit against Jenkins, claiming it was a willful and malicious act, as well as "slander and unlawful release of Barnes' personal information on the Internet."
7. Facebook and burglary don't mix
Here's a thought: If you're going to burglarize a home, don't stop to check your Facebook profile on the home's computer. Well, 26-year-old Nicholas Wig did that anyway, after breaking into the Minnesota home of resident James Wood. Afterward, he left with ample credit cards, cash and a watch — but he forgot to log off Facebook.
Wood realized what happened and posted a status on Wig's account, saying that the young adult had just robbed him. Wig agreed to meet up with him to return the stuff, but it was too late. Wood called the police, who promptly arrested Wig on the scene.
Tags: Facebook, JAIL, LAWSUITS, SOCIAL MEDIA