Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

DA: Facebook friends, Twitter pals not exempt from law

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams took to his Facebook page and Twitter feed this afternoon to say there is no get-out-of-jail-free card for his Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

DA: Facebook friends, Twitter pals not exempt from law

Williams
Williams

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams took to his Facebook page and Twitter feed this afternoon to say there is no get-out-of-jail-free card for his Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

"Regularly scheduled Facebook "friendship" disclaimer. Your use and viewing of this page does not constitute "friendship" to bar criminal prosecution in the City and County of Philadelphia by the Office of the District Attorney," Williams posted on his Facebook page about two hours ago.  He also linked to it on his Twitter feed.

It's a tricky legal landscape out there for Facebookers.  State Rep. Cherelle Parker had a DUI charge tossed out of court in November by a Municipal Court judge who was also her Facebook friend.  A Common Pleas Court judge reinstated the charges last month, saying the first judge should have recused himself because of the Facebook friend status.

Williams emailed to tell us that nobody has tried to use Facebook friend status with him to avoid prosecution but he thought the post would be both humorous and prudent considering how Parker's case played out.

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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