Have you heard the term “fraping”? If the answer is no, you might be hearing about it soon.
Fraping is the act of hopping on someone’s already logged in Facebook account and posting something that is meant to harm or embarrass them. That might not seem all that sinister, but in the age of prenuptial agreements including social media policies, some people don’t think so. As a matter of fact, in the first known case of its kind, an Irish man has been charged criminally and fined €2,000 for fraping – taking his ex-girlfriend’s phone and posting an offensive status update on her Facebook account. According to a quote from the Evening Mail article:
“It is hard to justify his actions as he stole her property but on the whole ‘fraping’ in this country at least is just a laugh perhaps between friends or partners when they leave their phone lying around and leave the room.
Perhaps if it was hacked or used as a malicious public slur then action should be taken but it should be up to the individual not to leave personal data open and unattended, especially in today’s climate because on our phones or laptops we not only have Facebook but private documents, financial matters, personal photos etc.”
Is it just a joke? Most of the time it probably is. In this case it might not have been since he took her phone, perhaps forcefully. We don’t think the fraping itself should be against the law.
Your data, if it is on Facebook, is public to some degree. Of course that depends on your privacy settings and how diligent you are about keeping things to yourself. If someone takes your phone, that in itself is a crime whether they make a social media post or not. There’s no need for a new law.
If you leave your phone unlocked and lying around – the far more common circumstance when fraping occurs – the responsibility is yours. When we find an offensive post on a teen’s social media account in the course of an audit, the teen in question often tells parents that a friend did it. Whether the parents believe that is up to them.
Keep your phones locked down, and tell your kids to do the same.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.