Man Doesn’t Like Facebook Photo Tags, Sues

    February 20, 2012

Minneapolis resident Aaron Olson really didn’t like the photos his uncle Randall posted on his Facebook Timeline. So, he sued for harrassment. Then lost. Then tried for an appeal. And lost again.

Randall Labrie posted reportedly embarrassing photos of Olson in front of a Christmas tree, and added snarky comments to the images. Olson didn’t take this too well, and filed a complaint, according to Newser. Olsen initially lost his case in a Minnesotan district court, and then moved on to the State Court of Appeals. There, Judge Natalie E. Hudson had this to say:

To constitute harassment, words must have a substantial adverse effect on the safety, security, or privacy of another. Comments that are mean and disrespectful, coupled with innocuous family photos, do not affect a person’s safety, security, or privacy — and certainly not substantially so. The district court did not err by determining that the evidence submitted by appellant did not satisfy the statutory definition of harassment.

Also, during the district court hearing, Olson represented himself pro se, like Ted Bundy did, and went on to complain of court bias against him, citing his socioeconomic status and religion. Over a Facebook wall photo. No mention of Olson’s age or sample photos could be found. Was it this one?

I wonder if Olson is aware that the majority of the readers of his story will possibly spend a bit of time searching for his shameful Christmas shots in question. While 83% of users from a recent poll find pre-tagging requests to be common courtesy, there are “delete,” “block,” “report user,” “suspend account,” etc. features that exist in Facebook, for free, (and always will be), that could be tried out before calling the law. Or even better, one could activate Facebook’s photo tagging approval feature. How bad could the pictures have been?