NBA star Stephen Nash and his wife, Alejandra Nash, agreed that their post-divorce communication would be respectful and neither would disparage the other or say or do anything that would negatively impact a child’s opinion or respect for the other parent. The proceedings took an interesting turn when Alejandra tweeted disparaging remarks about her former husband. At a Court hearing, the judge reminded the parties such conduct was prohibited under their agreement, noting that the life span of social media is indefinite and that the distribution of social media postings cannot be effectively controlled or contained.
Alejandra challenged the Court order (to cease these types of disparaging posts) as an unconstitutional restraint on her free speech. The Arizona Court of Appeals disagreed, stating that social media comments often do not remain private, and may quickly work their way back to the children, and thus, the restraint was in accord with the parties’ original agreement. The court said that “writing nasty, disparaging comments where the children ages ten to twelve could easily find them is practically the same as saying the comments to the children.
Comment, 161 Penn. L. Rev. 1081, 1119 (2013).
Free Speech vs. Social Media, Washington Family Law Reporter Volume 32 Nos. 7-9, Page 2