Facebook ‘Poking’ Leads to Man Killing Friend


“Poking” people on Facebook is a usual innocent affair, but it has led to a man killing his own friend. The friend had “poked” the man’s girlfriend, without realizing who the girl really was. However, it shows just how much one little action can affect people.

The idea of “poking” on the social media site is a relatively outdated one for many. It was a fun game for friends at first, just to get their attention. There are minimal cases where the whole thing has caused so much jealousy that it has led to the death of one person.

Scott Humphrey was so jealous of his friend, Richard Rovetto, 29, of using the function on Facebook. While it allows people to get the attention of others, it can also be a way to flirt with others through the social media site. This is something the 27-year-old father of one believed his friend was doing. After getting out of a taxi, Humphrey questioned why “such a good friend” would do such a thing. Rovetto’s defense was that he did not realize the girl was his friend’s girlfriend.

While it led to a fight, it seems nobody expected it to lead to death. Humphrey punched Rovetto, who then feel over and hit his head on the ground. While in the hospital, Rovetto died of his injuries sustained, and Humphrey had fled the crime scene. However, he later admitted to his crimes when turning himself in.

According to Humphrey’s lawyer, it was an accident and he is remorseful. He never meant the fight over the Facebook “poking” to lead to him killing his friend. A judge has decided that he will spend four years in jail for manslaughter. Rovetto’s family is not happy with the length of sentence.

Social media is blamed for a lot of things, but this is one of the first times the idea of “poking” has led to death. It was designed to be such an innocent way of just getting the attention of others, but shows that people can use innocent elements of any site in their own ways. The way the actions are interpreted are also subjective.

A study in 2009 even went as far to suggest that there is something called Facebook jealousy. It happens when people over-analyze posts or second-guess the intent of an action from someone else. It leads to many second-guessing their partners, and causes problems within the relationships. Usually it leads to the relationships coming to an end, or at least arguments between the couple. Sometimes it leads to discussions with the third person getting involved.

Couples therapy professionals have also admitted that the social media giant is often a reason for couples to need help. Their relationships start to break down because of a post on the wall or private messages that each one has read. Reconnecting with ex-flames is one of the reasons for arguments to start.

This is one of the first times that “poking” someone has caused a problem on such a devastating scale. It just shows that the green-eyed monster can bite at any time, and this time the Facebook “poking” led to a man killing his own friend.

By Alexandria Ingham


New York Daily News

Huffington Post

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers

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