Cross-posted from The Rare Reporter blog.
WAXAHACHIE, TX — The criminal legal problems of a former website publisher in a small Texas town south of Dallas shows how much trouble can erupt when bloggers fail to adhere to basic professional journalism standards.
Joey Dauben, former publisher of Ellis County Observer, received five years probation on Nov. 15 in lieu of a one-year state jail sentence recommended by a jury after a one-day trial and conviction the previous day.
Judge Bob Carroll of the 40th District Court ordered Dauben, 31, to serve five years probation, after the jury convicted him of “fraudulent use of private identifying information” in connection with a post on his blog in 2011.
During the probation, Dauben’s Internet use will be restricted. He will not be allowed to maintain a Facebook page or other website, he will be prohibited from posting comments on the Internet on any kind of public pages and he will be allowed only one e-mail account for work and other approved personal messaging to family and friends. He will be confined to Ellis County and must observe an 11 p.m. curfew. He also must submit to a yearly polygraph test and register any electronic devices he owns.