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British Man Pursued by Mob, Jailed for Facebook Posts

Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP/GettyImages.

Apparently, what happens on Facebook doesn’t always stay on Facebook.

A 20-year-old British man will spend 12 weeks in jail after he posted “grossly offensive” jokes on Facebook about two missing young girls.

The BBC reports that Matthew Woods was arrested Saturday in Lancashire, in northwest England, “for his own safety” after 50 outraged vigilantes descended on his home following the comments. Woods had posted jokes about a missing 5-year-old girl who disappeared recently and another who vanished in 2007. “Who in their right mind would abduct a ginger kid?” he wrote in a typical post, though he also made some explicit references to the girls.

Woods later told police that he wrote the posts drunk and that he wanted his friends to think he had been hacked, though his lawyer said he “fully accepts he was the author of his own misfortune.” A local magistrate quickly handed down the maximum sentence.