Facebook’s “People You May Know” feature is undeniably creepy, and are there many among us who don’t fear learning we are being deceived or misled by friends or lovers via unintentional information leaks on the world’s dominant social network?
Sure, people got hurt before bigamy and the like were aired via Facebook’s “People You May Know” feature, but by the same token, people we would like to forget or ignore often pop up in the sidebar reminding us of the former co-worker who gave us a hard time, the high school classmate who stole our prom date, or the ex-wife’s new husband who drives a fancy car and sees your kids more.
Sometimes, however, Facebook’s little leaks manage to cause real-life trouble — like the guy who was discovered to be married to two women via Facebook’s “People You May Know” feature.
In our original post on the matter, we quoted the way this played out for one unfortunate couple — essentially, wife #1 found out the man she was still married to had quietly remarried without obtaining a divorce from her first. Awkward!
“A woman you left three years ago but remain married to gets a recommendation from Facebook to “friend” a woman she doesn’t know. Unbeknownst to her, you married the mystery woman after changing your name. Wife No. 1 clicks on the link. The mystery woman’s profile photo shows you and her in nice clothes standing next to a wedding cake.”
A lawyer for Alan O’Neill, the 42-year-old department of corrections employee charged with bigamy in the case, says that O’Neill — who is said to have changed his name before wedding wifey two — handed his divorce off to a neighbor to file and just sort of forgot about it:
“Mr. O’Neill failed to follow through on that… He is extremely embarrassed and remorseful.”
O’Neill had another defender in the courtroom though — his first wife, who spoke up in his defense to say her erstwhile spouse had suffered enough. (O’Neill’s second marriage has since been annulled.) She said:
“He just made a bad decision that hurt a few people’s feelings and (brought) embarrassment to himself.”
O’Neill was given a suspended sentence and will remain on probation for a year after the Facebook-outed bigamy — have you ever been caught out by the “People You May Know” feature?