OH Man to Appeal Apologize-or-Jail Ruling; “Facebook on Fire”


Two weeks ago, Mark Byron of Cincinnati couldn't get help or support for his court case. Now, he's getting it from around the globe, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. “My Facebook is on fire. People care,” Byron said Monday. On Jan. 26, a judge told Byron to post an apology on his Facebook wall or go to jail. The order was in response to Byron posting a rant about his pending divorce from Elizabeth Byron, difficulty over visitation with their son, and the judicial system.

Free speech advocates decried the ruling as a violation of Byron's free speech rights, first for suggesting he couldn't post on his personal Facebook page about his frustration and then requiring him to post the apology for a month of go to jail. After the Enquirer broke the story, it went viral, related around the world in newspapers, on web sites, TV stations, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. With all the support, Byron, he decided to appeal the ruling. “If I just sit on my hands [ ] we're sending a message that this is OK. It's not OK to blatantly violate my free speech rights,” said Byron, a photographer.

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