State senator angered over comments posted to social media

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – A state senator with a pro-labor voting record is angry after profane comments were allegedly posted about her on a local, pro-union Facebook page.

Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal a University City democrat says she was alerted to the comments Friday night found on a public page called Pro-Union St. Louis. She says the comments centered around her stand on the school transfer bill.

Chappelle-Nadal says some of the posts included racially charged comments and vulgarities aimed at her.

‘I wanted people to know who these individuals are,’ she said.

The comments, she says, were removed from the Pro-Union Facebook page, but not before she was able to trace back the identities of those making the nasty posts.

She says she went to the public versions of their Facebook pages and copied photos of them and posted them on her Twitter feed under the headline, ‘racist union members.’

Some of the photos also showed family members, including children.

Several Twitter users have been highly critical of that tactic, but the senator defends her actions.

‘It`s a free medium. It is called the First Amendment. If he wants to make his Facebook page a private page that is certainly his right,’ she said adding, ‘When you start a war, everything is fair.’

While there may not be a legal issue here, attorney Brad Young, who is an expert on cyber law, says Twitter and Facebook could take action against the senator.

‘It does not matter if it is publicly available, that would still infringe upon the copyright interests of the person who took the picture,’ Young said.

“The only ramifications of that may be to have the reporting persons account on Twitter or Facebook to be deactivated and both Facebook and Twitter do that frequently,’ he said.

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