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One Facebook post costs a Florida man $80,000

(Social Media) Facebook and other social networks are home to endless venting sessions, but in one case, it cost a family $80,000. Ouch.



When social media costs you money

A horrible day at work, a disagreement with your spouse, or problems with the kids; we have all vented our frustrations at one time or another. But in our world of easy-access and instant gratification, people are turning more and more to social media to vent their frustrations, both professional and personal. There is nothing wrong with airing your grievances: it helps reduce stress, refocus your energy, and allows you to move on to the next task. But, what if one moment of poor judgment in the form of a Facebook post cost you $80,000?

Florida father, Patrick Snay, has learned just how much airing a grievance on Facebook can cost. He had reached an $80,000 settlement with Gulliver Prep, where he had previously been headmaster, only to have his daughter violate the terms of said settlement by bragging about the money on Facebook. After the father told them how much they received his daughter posted to her Facebook account, “Gulliver Prep is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer… SUCK IT.”

As you can imagine, a good portion of her Facebook friends were still attending the school and word quickly spread regarding the post. Soon the school was informing Mr. Snay that they would not be paying the settlement, due to a violation of the nondisclosure agreement.

A failed appeal

The Snays appealed to a Circuit Court and it was decided that the original deal should be enforced and the school would indeed have to pay. However, the school appealed this decision where the Third District Court of Appeal tossed it out, stating the school was no longer obligated to pay because the nondisclosure agreement had been violated. As their daughter had done precisely what the nondisclosure agreement was meant to prevent.

While we all have the right to free speech, if you sign a nondisclosure, you have agreed to keep quiet. If your daughter is old enough to have a Facebook account, she should have been old enough to know it was not something that warranted a public announcement. Because sadly, this is what happens: money lost and lesson learned.

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Lesson learned: explain to your children, friends, employees, and co-workers, that while social media is a valuable tool, it can also be a Pandora’s box, so be careful what you post.

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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