Judge orders Facebook apology
Cape Town - A court in the US has ordered a man to post an apology to his ex- wife on his Facebook page after he was found guilty of contravening a protection order.
Photographer Mark Byron was ordered to post an apology for 30 consecutive days after being found guilty of violating a protection order against his wife granted in 2011, the LA Times reported.
The case stirred controversy over freedom of speech rights.
"The idea that a court can say, 'I order you not to post something or to post something' seems to me to be a 1st Amendment issue," free-speech expert Jack Greiner, told the Cincinatti Enquirer.
Byron wrote the nasty note to "vent".
"I just went on Facebook to vent," Byron said. "I kind of likened it to having a drink with a friend at a bar and telling them about things."
The note implied that his wife was out to ruin his life.
"If you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband's life and take your son's father away from him completely - all you need to do is say you're scared of your husband or domestic partner and they'll take him away!" the note on his Facebook wall said.
Despite Byron blocking his wife from seeing his Facebook wall, she learnt of the post and filed a motion that the note violated her protection order.
Magistrate Paul Meyers said Byron could either go to prison and pay a $500 fine or post an apology and pay child support.
The apology was written by the judge and Byron has been posting all the news stories about his case on his Facebook page.