Be Aware of Your Posts: Social Media Plays a Big Role in Legal Cases

Social Media and the LawWe all know that social media is an integral part of our culture. Whether you use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or Vine, you should be aware of what you are posting and how it could ultimately become part of legal proceedings.

Did you know?

Anything that you post online may be used against you in a court of law.

It’s true. Your Facebook page isn’t just a place your friends look at. Social media is fast becoming a key place that attorneys and their clients go for incriminating evidence.

Common Examples

Divorce, custody disputes, criminal and even personal injury cases are just a few of the applications that commonly utilize social media for evidence.

  • Are you talking negatively and airing dirty laundry about your future ex-spouse on the internet? Not only is this hurtful to children who may see it on social media, but you could be setting yourself up for disaster.
  • Are there photos of you drinking in excess on Facebook? You could be proven an alcoholic and unfit to care for your children.
  • Are you claiming a back injury that makes it impossible for you to work, yet you post pictures of yourself wrestling with your kids.
  • Are you on pretrial release for a criminal charge, but posting pictures of excessive partying, trips to other states, and guns? Were you a minor who was busted at a party? Did you tweet about it? Is there a Vine video of you holding a beer? Be aware that even if you may not have been drinking that beer, there is evidence you were in possession.

These are just some of the many examples where social media could be used in court. It is important for you to think about the types of content you are posting or tagged in online.

Don’t Rely on Privacy Settings

In many cases, people believe that blocking, unfriending and upping their privacy settings will keep them safe, but think again. If there is a will, there’s a way to get what they want or need.

Many people will utilize the power of the “mutual friend” to lend a hand in quietly gathering and sharing information. With tools that can screenshot your page, deleting the content isn’t always an option, either.

How Do I Stay Safe?

The safest way to keep yourself protected is to assume that all content that you post or is posted through social media is accessible and being used by attorneys. The best thing that you can do is to only post things that you are proud of along with keeping your pages and profiles clean. Be aware of what others are posting on your profiles and set up restrictions that require you to approve content from others before it appears on your page.

If you are seeking legal help, contact the experienced attorneys at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss. They can help you sort through your case and give you guidance on how to manage your social media presence while going through a divorce, custody dispute, criminal case, a personal injury case etc.



Photo Courtesy of Flickr

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