Facebook “Pokes” May Lead to Prison


Be careful who you “poke”. It could lead to imprisonment, fines and worse yet- a suspended facebook account.

May 3oth 2010, Jerry Sabattio, a 54 year old man of  Coldspring, MO was charged with harassment, stalking and lewd internet behavior with under age girls on the popular social networking site Facebook. He was “poking” over a thousand underage girls a day online.

After hundreds of complaints from the girls and their families his account was suspended on facebook and many of the families pressed charges against him. He faces fines up to $5,000 and 1-5 years in jail. Jerry states that he was “just having harmless fun with people. It is a social network after all.”

Police seized his computer and were surprised to find no pornography but only a history of thousands of Facebook pages and most of them were bookmarked ad a favorites. It seems that this 54-year-old accountant and divorcee had a clean record and a clean computer other than the Facebook pages he saved most of which were underage girls that he poked.

Poking is a feature on Facebook that seems to be harmless. On each profile there is a link that says “Poke (fill in the name). A person clicks the button and it gets sent to the recipient’s home page. If they do not “Poke” you back then you can not poke them again unless they delete the announcement of your Poke. Some have found it to be an annoying little feature and chose to ignore it. Some don’t even know that it’s there or what it means. It is intended as a way of saying “hi” without actually having to message a person. Some use it as a form of flirtation and others just do it for the fun of it.

Jerry Sabattio used it to try and get the attention of underage girls and claims “I was addicted. I just go on a profile and hit a button and move on to the next girl. I never said anything rude or even talked to the girls. I just poked them whenever I could and didn’t pay attention to their ages. There is nothing more exhilarating than the feeling of someone actually poking me back.”

After many appeals over the summer his court date is finally set for September 16th 2010 in Douglas County Court House.

Another related story on this YouTube News Report I found. It’s not just men who “Poke” the wrong people.

Personally, I am going to keep on poking and express my freedom of pokes. So poke off.

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One Response to Facebook “Pokes” May Lead to Prison

  1. Tanni says:

    Wow, I never heard of this incident and didn’t know it was possible to get fined. I personally dislike poking – never understood the purpose of it. I recently wrote a post about Facebook poking. Would love for you to read it: http://tannideb.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/the-top-5-things-i-hate-about-facebook-social-media-site-stalk-comments-grammar-error-poking-complicated-relationship/

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