Indonesian teenager convicted for Facebook insult

By | February 17, 2010

Indonesian teenager convicted for Facebook insult

A teenager received a suspended jail sentence for posting insulting comments on a romantic rival’s Facebook page, the latest case bringing Indonesia’s tough defamation laws under criticism.

Farah Nur Arafah, 18, was convicted Tuesday by three District Court judges in the town of Bogor, 35 miles (60 kilometers) south of Jakarta, of defaming her 18-year-old Facebook friend Felly Fandini. Arafah feared Fandini was attempting to sour the relationship with her boyfriend.

Arahaf’s posting in July last year called Fandini a pig and a dog, as well as saying she was promiscuous and overweight.

Presiding judge Ekofa Rahayu sentenced her to 75 days in prison, but suspended the sentence because Arafah cooperated during her trial. She must serve the sentence if she breaks the law in the next five months.

Arafah said her brush with the law had not put her off Facebook. “But I’ll be more careful about what comments I post,” she told The Jakarta Post newspaper.

Arafah’s defamation case was the latest involving social networking Web sites.

A group of reporters recently complained to police when Indonesian actress Luna Maya Twittered that tabloid journalists were worse than prostitutes and murderers. Police did not press charges.

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