Online cat videos have come to be associated with some of the cutest, silliest moments the Internet has to offer. But they can have a dark side too, as a legal sentence handed down Monday in France shows.
Farid Ghilas of Marseille was sentenced to a year in prison for animal cruelty after posting a video to his Facebook profile last week showing him hurling a kitten against a building. The video quickly went viral, sparking widespread horror and outrage and even death threats aimed at the perpetrator.
Though Ghilas is far from the first person to be arrested after publicizing incriminating details on social media, the incident had further, faster reach than most. By the time Ghilas took the video down, Facebook users had copied and pasted his profile information; posted his name, address, and phone number on the Web; and created Facebook pages calling for his arrest. The police ended up taking Ghilas into custody less than 24 hours after the video appeared online. … Read more