Social Media and Your Case
Although the law is still evolving, recent court decisions show that social media evidence is being used more and more in court cases.
Be Careful What You PostSocial media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have reshaped the way we communicate. Over the past few years, people have gone from sharing information through regular mail and over the phone to publishing their thoughts and activities online as they happen.
Today, possibly thousands of people can see our habits, whereabouts, and pictures. Although many disagree about whether social media brings us closer together or pushes us farther apart, social media definitely plays an increasingly important role in both personal injury and family law cases.
The Admissibility of Social Media EvidenceAs courts in Georgia and around the country figure out how to handle evidence gathered from social media, consider this: what you post online can come back to haunt you. A number of courts have addressed the numerous issues posed by social media evidence, including authentication and admissibility. In most cases, courts treat social media evidence like traditional evidentiary documents, which means they will admit it into evidence as long as it is authenticated and relevant.
In Melody v. Robert, a 2013 New York case, the court issued an order of protection prohibiting the mother from posting information about her children on social networking sites after evidence gathered from Facebook showed she insulted and demeaned her children on the Internet.
In Lalonde v. Lalonde, a 2011 Kentucky case, an appeals court upheld a lower court decision granting a father custody after Facebook photos showed the mother consuming alcohol against the advice of her mental health care provider.
As children we learned that once you say something you cannot take it back. Likewise, once you put something on the world wide web, it's out there forever. You cannot take it back!