GLEN ROCK, NJ - When a Glen Rock man received an alleged harassing personal message on Facebook, he reported it to police but was informed it did not rise to a criminal act.
On July 7, the man, a member of the "Glen Rockers" Facebook page, told police he received a "harassing" message after he posted on the page.
"As the message did not constitute a criminal act under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice," police said, "it was recommended to the complainant that he block communications from the Facebook user in question."
Any complaints concerning Facebook terms of usage need to be resolved through Facebook, Chief Dean Ackermann reported in this week's police report that came out on July 13.
"While the Glen Rock Police Department has received a rising number of complaints concerning unpleasant social media exchanges," Chief Ackermann said, "law enforcement generally cannot become involved with social media disputes unless:
- You’ve received or been named in direct threats of violence (ie: threats that suggest a time, place, or location that would make a reasonable person believe a threat may be carried out).
- An online abuser has published nonconsensual, sexually explicit images of you.
- A user posts child-pornography.
- You’ve been stalked via electronic communication."
"While New Jersey does have a harassment statue in the code of criminal justice – because of the first amendment – prosecution under this statue is limited when it is applied to expression, rather than conduct or acts," Chief Ackermann said. "Matters concerning perceived liable or slander are civil matters for which redress may be available by filing a lawsuit, not a criminal complaint."