I’m sorry, this proposal by the city of Farmington, Mississippi seems so wrong. According to the local newspaper, the city is exploring the public shaming of debtors through presumably the city Facebook page, which by the way, blows. – Source
The town apparently believes that even if the person named does not see the Facebook mention, others will see it and let the person know. Debt collection by proxy.
It will be interesting to see how they deal with Fair Debt Collection Practices Act issues of informing third parties about a debt owed. But it appears the claim will be the information is already a matter of public record anyway.
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In the past, Facebook did not find this kind of use of it’s site to be cool. In debt collection attempts where collectors reached out to Facebook members to collect on a debt, Facebook said:
Facebook policies prohibit any kind of threatening, intimidating, or hateful contact from one user to another. We encourage people to report such behavior to us, only accept friend requests from people that they know, and use privacy settings and our blocking feature to prevent unwanted contact. – Source
While the story out claims other Mississippi counties have used similar efforts, I was unable to locate any examples.
Time will tell what types of debts the city will post but here is my prognostication of what is to come.
But in essence this isn’t much different than a sheriff office posting pictures of Dad’s that owe back child support.
Apparently we might not like it or think it’s fair but it’s happening now.
“Dear Debtor, I tagged you on Facebook, now please accept my friend request so I can stalk you.”
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