It's one of the more bizarre violations of our Right to Privacy I've ever come across: "friend" your apartment building's Facebook page or be found in breach of your rental agreement.
That could mean eviction for those who refuse to "like" their apartment building on the social media platform within the 5-day window provided for in the contract.
What is even more bizarre is the new "Facebook Policy" tenants found taped to their door a week ago demanded they allow the building to post pictures of tenants and their apartments and that posting negative comments would result in sanctions.
Privacy is one of our most fundamental rights. That privacy cannot be stripped from us simply because a corporation demands it and threatens to evict you from your home.
Thankfully the tenants of Salt Lake City's City Park Apartments refused to accept this blatant violation of their rights.
“I don’t want to be forced to be someone’s friend and be threatened to break my lease because of that,” tenant Jason Ring said. “It’s outrageous as far as I’m concerned. It’s a violation of my privacy.”
Unsurprisingly the lawyers for City Park Apartments, The Law Offices of Kirk A. Cullimore LLC, said the policy will not be implemented.
"As part of opening its pool and an anticipated pool party, City Park desired to provide some protection to its residents and its owners from usage of photos on its Facebook page from all community events, including the opening pool party.
"The 'Facebook Addendum' was provided to them to assist in that protection. That addendum went beyond the request and intent of City Park Apartments, and was not carefully reviewed to ensure that it met with their needs and requests. At no time was any resident in jeopardy of eviction or action from City Park for failure to sign the addendum or 'friend' City Park Apartments. City Park has not implemented the addendum nor is it requiring its residents to execute it."
What is interesting to note is the language used in this written statement.
Never do these shysters reassure tenants that this policy will be rescinded. They state only that City Park Apartments "has not implemented the addendum nor is it requiring its residents to execute it."
The usual mewling that follow such blatant abuses of our rights came from City Park Apartments Manager Ana Raphael.
"While we openly encourage residents to follow the property's Facebook page for announcements and feedback, this is not mandatory and an absence of engagement on Facebook in no way affects any residential lease agreement.
"We sincerely apologize for any confusion this may have caused and hope to earn your positive comments through our customer service efforts and not through any perceived obligation."
Perceived obligation? Is this woman serious? There was nothing "perceived" about it. The complex demanded an action or tenants would be found in violation of their rental agreement. The wording of that demand was quite clear and not open to being "perceived" incorrectly.
Anyone demanding I "like" them on Facebook or face sanctions can, as a friend of mine likes to say, "kiss my ass, not on left side, not on the right side but right smack-dab in the middle."
Gail, I thank you for those wonderful words of wisdom!
I trust the tenants of Salt Lake City's City Park Apartments will tell them the same thing and I heartily support them as they fight back against this gross violation of their fundamental rights.
One point to note in this battle: City Park Apartments shut down their Facebook page this past week. Clearly the backlash from their blatant stupidity found a home and they didn't like what they heard. Before its deactivation the page had a much-deserved 1.1 rating.