10 Things You Shouldn't Do On Facebook

People often post offensive or insensitive things on their Facebook, and sometimes those updates and pictures can be downright criminal - literally. [via]

Check out Techland's list of things you shouldn't do on Facebook, lest you want to face some sort of negative repercussions. Ranging from being convicted of a criminal offense to making yourself a target of a robbery to things that can help you lose your job, here's things that you can easily avoid doing. Try to exercise common sense when using the social network: It's all public knowledge after all.

1. Post About How Much You Hate Your Job

It's tempting to air out your grievances on Facebook, but remember your employer could be watching.

Dr. June Talvitie-Siple formerly of Cohasset High School was asked to resign after she updated her Facebook status to call local area parents "arrogant and snobby" and to refer to some her her students as "germ bags." The statements may or may not have been true, but she should have kept her opinions to herself if she wanted to keep her almost $100,000 a year job.

2. Show That You Support Underage Drinking Through Your Pictures

The police are now scouting Facebook pictures for evidence of underage drinking, so before you post that fun night out, you might want to think twice. Several students at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse faced underage drinking fines after pictures of him at a party surfaced on his Facebook page.

Of age hosts of parties can face legal action too: Theodore and Laura Berent hosted a party where they served alcohol to minors and found themselves in trouble with local law enforcement after pictures ended up on Facebook. And, if your employer finds your drinking questionable, you can be fired. A Barrow County, Ga. teacher was fired because she posted pictures of her drinking at the Guinness Factory and in Temple Bar in Dublin. Although she claims she didn't appear intoxicated in the pictures, she couldn't erase the fact that she used an explicative word on her Facebook, which also led to her removal.

3. Post Evidence That You Cheated On Your Significant Other

News flash: Divorce lawyers know how to use Facebook too. According to a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 81 percent of its members have used or faced evidence taken from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social networking sites. Facebook is the number one go to place to find dirt on your client's spouse. Sixty-six percent of the time proof of an affair from a social networking site comes from Facebook.

4. Update Your Status While Robbing A House

If you're going to do something illegal, it's pretty obvious that you shouldn't leave evidence - which also includes logging out of your Facebook profile if you so happened to check in while robbing a house. Had this thief not stopped to check his profile on his way out, he may have never been caught. Instead, now there's irrefutable evidence he was in the victim's home illegally.

5. Ask For Help So You Can Plagiarize

Asking people for what the homework assignment was on Facebook is fine, but when you start copying answers from posts on walls and groups it becomes plagiarism. Universities in the UK are on to this trick, especially since a Cambridge University survey revealed that one in two students had cheated. Forty nine percent of the 1,000 people questioned said they had copied someone else's work, with 82 percent admitting that they copied straight from Wikipedia.

6. Post Private Pictures of Your Ex

If you're angry at your ex, don't take it out on them by posting private material shared between you two - and especially don't post in on Facebook. A New Zealand man was sentenced to four months in jail for posting private pictures of his ex-girlfriend on the social networking site. Even though the judge saw that the photo was posted in an "irresponsible drunken jealous rage," it didn't make it any less of a criminal offense.

7. Extort People Through Facebook

Extortion is always illegal, but doing it through Facebook leaves digital evidence that a criminal will find hard to erase. Anthony Stancl received 15 years in jail for extorting naked photos through Facebook from underage males. Stancl, who was 18 at the time, posed as a female on the social networking site and tricked classmates into sending explicit photos of themselves, which he used as blackmail. The fake profile was eventually traced back to him.

8. Admit You Aren't Going To Be Home For While

Burglars are now becoming tech savvy and checking Facebook to see if you are out of the house. A string of New Hampshire robberies were tied to this modus operandi; the suspects checked Facebook for children's or parents' updates that said that the family was going to go on vacation. A Virginia woman was robbed as well after she said she was going to a concert at a specific time on a specific day, leaving her house empty for several hours.

However, Facebook saved the day on this one: A friend watched the video from her home surveillance security system and recognized one of robbers as one of the Virginia woman's 500 "friends."

9. Brag About All Your New, Expensive Items

Yeah, we know you want to tell all your friends about that cool new computer, iPad and iPod you got for your birthday, but remember there may be some disingenous people reading your Facebook update as well. British-based Legal & General warns that Facebook users might be making themselves potential targets when posting about their expensive new items, and when coupled with letting people know you are out of the home for a while on vacation or at a special event, it can be an invitation to be robbed. Similarly, posting personal details like your address and phone number can make it even easier for those robbers to determine where you live and when you aren't home.

10. Admit To A Crime On Facebook

While some people have been exonerated by updating their Facebook status at the time when they were alleged of committing a crime, admitting to a crime can get you in legal hot water.

Check out this exchange, originally posted on the Daily Telegraph:

To answer your question, yes your Facebook update can be used as evidence. And yes, if someone identifies you as the person who committed a crime by your Facebook profile, it's completely legal and admissible in court.

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