Man held for creating parody Facebook page of police department

New York, March 28 (IANS) A US man was jailed after he created a parody Facebook account of police department of Parma city in Ohio and posted “derogatory” and “inflammatory” information, a media report said.

Anthony C. Novak, 27, was arrested for allegedly creating a parody Facebook account of the Parma Police Department, New York Daily News reported on Sunday.

He faces a possible felony charge of disrupting public services because of his satirical account and is expected to make his first court appearance on Monday.

The parody page was created on March 2 and looked identical to the official Parma Police profile. The only difference was in the fake link’s URL, which had a “The” before “City Of Parma Police Department”.

The satire page had posts suggesting it would be illegal to help the homeless, offering free abortions to teens and advertising a “Pedophile Reform event” that offered sex offenders an opportunity as an “honorary police officer of the Parma Police Department”, the report said.

“The public should disregard any and all information posted on the fake Facebook account,” officers wrote a warning post.

Several parody accounts of the department have popped up in protest since Novak’s arrest.

Lieutenant Kevin Riley said his department recognises Novak’s First Amendment rights but believes his parody crossed a line, he told reporters.

“In this particular case, we believe the material that Novak posted on the fake account crossed the line from satire to an actual risk to public safety,” he was quoted as saying.

The profile was deleted after Parma police reached out to Facebook.

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