Danger: How Unknown Social Media Laws Can Hurt
Knowing Social Media Laws Can Save You in the Middle of Litigation
Facebook has been around for less than ten years, yet in that time it has grown to become one of the largest social media networking sites. Current sources report no less than 1.11 billion Facebook users today*! That’s over 16% of the world’s population! And that’s also a huge collection of facts and personal information that can be used against a party in litigation. Don’t get me wrong–social media is both fun and a vital part of today’s changing world, but knowing social media laws can save you from a whole lot of trouble.
So What Are the Social Media Laws During Litigation?
Anything one puts online can be used in a court of law. Remember, on TV cop shows, where when someone was arrested, the cops would say: “Anything you say can and will be used against you?” Social media is kind of like that. It’s an open and public forum and what one posts there, anyone can see and potentially use against the opposing party in court.
But What About Privacy Settings?
We’ve all heard that there’s no such thing as privacy on the internet, and it’s true! Despite any “settings” that one may have, one can still post information that another party can use against them. People who seem to be the friends of a party (and who truly are their Facebook “friends”) may send information posted on social media to the other side! Social media is a public forum, and in litigation, this public forum can be the forum that decides a win or a loss.
So What is the Solution?
Should one stop posting and tweeting the minute they enter a case? Do social media laws deny one the right to even use their Facebook account for the often lengthy duration of a trial? Not with this simple remedy: assume that anything posted online is a billboard in front of the judge. Anything you wouldn’t put on that billboard, don’t put on your Facebook timeline. The same goes for any party involved with a case.