Social Media (Facebook) Questions

A US appeals court has reversed an order banning a convicted sex offender from having a Facebook account. Would such an order be made and upheld in Canada? What limits might be possible, and how would they be enforced? For that matter, how could the order itself be enforced? It’s not hard to get a FB account in another name, though it may be contrary to the terms of service to do so.

Could a no-contact order be made for FB use, e.g. not to friend or comment on any FB page relating to or about a designated person?

Meanwhile, also on FB, another employee was dismissed for FB postings about her job and employer. Similar cases exist in Canada. Is this idea problematic for you? Again, what limits are there or should there be to the relevance of postings on one’s personal site for one’s job? Is the difference from the content of private conversations just the lack of privacy, or the breadth of communication? Or is there a qualitative difference?

Neither issue is restricted to FB, of course. The ban on use could apply to any site where children are likely to be present. Disrespect for one’s employer can be expressed on Twitter and elsewhere.

Also meanwhile on FB, the Florida Supreme Court will consider whether a judge can hear a case prosecuted by a FB friend. Would that be a problem in a Canadian court? Would it matter if the case were a civil matter? Do any of the social media advice sites set up by the judiciary deal with this?


  1. Some recent US developments on the judge/FB friend front:

    Such friendship does not necessarily show bias.

    Judge’s Use of Electronic Social Networking Media (American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Formal Opinion 462 ) February/février 2013.

    Are there good Canadian sources or resources?