NORMAN, Okla. – A Facebook post that has gone viral is raising questions about the legality of accusations on social media.
A father took to social media to warn others about a potential predator trying to abduct his daughter.
However, police did not arrest the man, but his picture has been shared hundreds of times.
“This is kind of a case of ‘he said, she said,’” said Sarah Jensen with the Norman Police Department.
The man who wrote the post is a Norman parent who claims a University of Oklahoma student attempted to abduct his 13-year-old daughter.
According to the post, the so-called suspect followed the girl and told her to get in his car.
It goes on to say the man eventually sped off, chased by the angry father.
The man was then stopped by police, who talked to him and let him go.
In the post, the man is referred to as a “predator” and “monster.”
But, police said they aren’t sure if a crime was committed.
“That day at the scene, he was not taken into custody. There was no probable cause at that point to arrest him,” Jensen said.
Attorney Jon Epstein is an expert when it comes to the law and social media.
“Always know that, if what you post is false and defamatory about somebody and hurts someone’s reputation, you could be exposed to some liability,” Epstein said.
Epstein said, in some instances, a post like this one can be a good way to get word out and warn others, but it can also be dangerous if the claims can’t be backed up with facts.
“Don’t think of it as a tweet. Think of it as Exhibit A because, if you write something that is false or defamatory, it can be used against you if someone decides to sue,” Epstein said.
Norman police said the case is still under investigation.
They are planning to interview the man in question again in the next few days.
They have not released that man’s name since he has not been charged with a crime.
Officials with OU said they are looking into the claims, and they are working with Norman police since the man appeared to be wearing an OU ID.