Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Facebook - Woman Facing Jail Time For Ceviche

Hate speech and trolls on Facebook


Facebook is for many, including myself, a synonym for negativity. Mark Zuckerberg and other top managers have just been sued by Germany for their refusal to delete illegal content. Even if users or victims report hate speech several times, Facebook refuses to remove the content from its site.

Therefore, it is even more surprising that recently a Swedish cancer awareness video has been pulled off the site for portraying an offensive image that you see below. Click on the link to read the full article in the New York Times.

Really? Calling for the murder of a politician = ok. Comic-style boob picture = not ok.

Another factor more and more people are worried about is Facebook´s data policies. My article about the kind of data Facebook receives from Whatsapp can be found here.

You might feel relieved that authorities are active on Facebook to protect us from criminals.

Who isn't tired of hate speech, scammers, and spammers?

But are these the groups that the authorities hunt?

I don´t know, but I also cannot remember the last time I have read a news story about a producer of hate speech being punished. So I guess you can imagine how surprised I was to read this story today in the news:

California woman facing jail time for Ceviche


When a man contacted Mariza Ruelas on Facebook, she did not consider the possibility of talking to an undercover agent. But she was.

The single parent from Stockton California has been sued for selling illegal substances. She is facing up to two years of jail time. The trial is going to start this week.

Your first reaction might be to feel relief that yet another evil person has been caught and punished.

But I am not talking about drugs or something like that.  I am talking about homemade ceviche.

Jail time for selling food?


Ceviche is a Peruvian dish made from raw fish and lime. Ruelas sold the food via a local facebook group. The Facebook group shared recipes and occasionally someone offered a homemade dish for sale.

In December of last year a man contacted her on Facebook and asked if he could have a portion. But the man turned out to be an undercover agent. Ruelas and other people of the Facebook group have been charged.

In California, it is illegal to sell homemade food without a license. The purpose is to protect consumers. That makes sense.

But that a mother of six is now facing jail time is a tad over the top in my opinion.

Ruela refused a deal that would have included three years of probation.

Conclusion


Frankly, I am more afraid of Nazis and scammers than I am of ceviche.

As an American who used to live in Germany for the first 42 years of his life, I will admit, that I find the US legal system scary.

There is no question that right must be distinguished from wrong and wrongdoers must face a fine for their actions.

But maybe we should get better at evaluating the severity of a crime.

  • No mother should be taken from her kids for up to two years for selling a few portions of raw fish (first-time offense). A simple warning and penalty would suffice. 
  • No weed smoker should end up in jail. 
  • No teenager should suffer consequences for the rest of his life for committing a stupidity. 
This is my personal opinion and does not represent anything other than my point of view. 


Read more about this case on Time.com  http://time.com/4561555/209-food-spot-facebook-ceviche/

If you are looking for a spam-free alternative to Facebook that can serve both, your personal and your professional needs, check out this site: BeBee