Today’s local newspaper reported that federal prosecutors are alleging that a Hell’s Angels member threatened a witness—through a Facebook page “poke.” Seriously… you can’t make this stuff up. How lame of a Hell’s Angel do you have to be that your preferred intimidation tactic is a button on a web page?
Wait… Facebook still has a “Poke” button? And people use it? I can’t remember the last time I was poked, but maybe I’m just inherently unpokable.
Then again, my immediate family has a lingering bad taste about poking as my youngest used to instigate serial poking episodes from the back seat of the car. His opening volley would be to stick a pointed finger into a fellow passenger and then issue the drawn out low-key utterance, “po…ke”. This would then propagate randomly through the vehicle for what seemed like an eternity as everyone poked everyone else while I gripped the wheel and muttered, “Are we there yet?”
So, maybe it’s just that my circle doesn’t poke. But either way, this notion of Facebook poking as harassment has to be a bit of a legal stretch, no? Apparently not. Google “Facebook poke considered harassment” and you get a ridiculous number of hits. People being arrested and sued for all manner of virtual abuse. This is just one out of control poke-analia, to the point that it’s rather amazing CNN hasn’t devoted a full news segment to scourge. After all, they spend most of their time reporting on Facebook and Twitter anyway.
I guess the upshot here is just a word of warning to all your serial pokers out there. Trespass on your friends’ cyberspace with care. One poke too many and you’ll be headed to the pokey.