Daily Buzz

Mark Byron forced to apologize on Facebook after complaining about wife

An Ohio man has been given an unusual, but possibly appropriate punishment from a judge after posting a comment about his estranged wife on Facebook.

Mark Byron has been ordered to post the same lengthy apology on his Facebook page every day for 30 days and pay the $1,100 he owes in child support. The judge said if Byron complies, he will avoid the original sentence of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

"I just went on Facebook to vent," Byron said to local Cincinnati television station WLWT. "I kind of liken it to having a drink with a friend at a bar and telling them how I feel about things. It's just that on Facebook I can do it on a much larger scale and people that are interested in talking about it would say something and those who are not interested would ignore it."

The whole situation started in November when, according to a court motion, Byron posted a comment on his Facebook page stating, "If you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband's life and take your son's father away from him completely—all you need to do is say that you're scared of your husband or domestic partner and they'll take him away!"

Byron was found guilty of civil domestic violence against his wife in June.

Byron said to WLWT that his wife was blocked from seeing anything on his Facebook page, but managed to see a picture and read comments written by his friends.

Elizabeth Byron then claimed the post violated a temporary restraining order, which prohibited him from causing his wife or son physical and/or mental abuse, harassment or annoyance.

"On one hand, the court wants to stop me from saying something on Facebook, and then it's telling me I have to [post] the pre-written apology," Byron said to WLWT.

The case brings up many freedom of speech issues as courts struggle to interpret laws for the social media sphere. Over the past couple days, Byron's work Facebook page for his photography has exploded with comments of people sympathizing with him and asking what happened to freedom of speech.

As for Byron, he just hopes to see his son more.

The case will be back in court March 19.

(Photo from Mark Byron's Facebook page)