A Facebook Friend Request That Sent Someone To Jail


In 2007, Dylan Osborn of England was jailed over a Facebook friend request. How? Here’s the story.

Osborn said that when he joined Facebook, an automated window appeared asking if he would like to send “friend requests” to everyone on his e-mail list. He then clicked “yes”. It’s not that big of a deal. After all, he knows them all and they’d most likely respond to the request positively, right?

Unfortunately for Osborn, one of the people who got the friend request was his estranged wife. Claire Tarbox. He was given a court order to not contact his wife after he “harassed her with phone calls and text messages.”

So, Tarbox called the police, and Osborn was arrested for contacting his wife through sending a friend request. Osborn was sentenced to ten days in jail, though he was released three days early on conditional bail.

“I certainly hadn’t intended to contact my wife… I didn’t even know she had a Facebook account. To be honest, I don’t think the judge understood how it works either.”, he told the reporters.





About Edmark M. Law

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. I blog at learnfunfacts.com. You can find me on Twitter @EdmarkMLaw and Facebook. My email is learnfunfacts@gmail.com
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26 Responses to A Facebook Friend Request That Sent Someone To Jail

  1. Zezi says:

    As the world advances, every day life seems to get more complicated!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now people are aware of the true intentions of social media and your article is proof of that. We can all be manipulated. FB or others …. It can be used as tool!
    But everything must stop there! Thank you for this insightful article!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t logged on my personal FB account since 2009 because I don’t like its policies… the same goes for other social media platforms as well.

      Thank you for reading and you’re welcome.


  3. George says:

    That’s just crazy but it gives me another excuse for not being part of Facebook..:)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 2ndhalfolife says:

    This is another reason not to have a Facebook account! I gave up mine ages ago!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Facebook is full of crazy relatives; that’s why i don’t use it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Graham says:

    There are quite a few Facebook users who should probably be locked up to be honest…as with so many things online these days, some people seem to think it gives them free range to spread messages of hate etc. This case though, sounds somewhat unfortunate, but that is the rules I guess. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. yassy says:

    I don’t like fb

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lady G says:

    Now that is horrifying! Glad I don’t do FB 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear friend,

    People can be really cruel and they forget even that they have loved each other at a certain time before – from love to hate not caring if even the ex has to go to jail or not – in my mind she has imprisoned herself with these dramatic actions, imprisoned her heart and feelings of compassion – no matter what was between her and her ex…

    People have forgotten: to forgive and forget…

    All the best

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Well, shame on him for the prior harassment, but that’s over-the-top, IMHO. I never use those “send to your email list/invite your email friends” options because with 600+, I’m sure I’ve forgotten who’s in my address book. Guess I should review and delete – as this guy should have done. 😏😏

    Liked by 2 people

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