Courts Allowing Private Facebook Posts As Evidence in Lawsuits

By Brian Grow | January 27, 2011

  • January 28, 2011 at 1:39 pm
    Bob says:
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    Great news for defendents, now plantiffs (the ones who are idiots) will be left with only one venue – TV Court.

  • January 28, 2011 at 3:10 pm
    Shaun says:
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    so because I put “:)” at the end of a few status massages that might make me happy at the time, must means my life is completly happy! THIS IS AWESOME NEWS! LISTEN UP WORLD!!!! No more need for anti-depressants…no more PTSD….no more need for shrinks…..LOVING the fact that a smiley face after something I said means I am really happy even tho a week before my wedding I broke my leg and cant enjoy many things! Think my new goal is to put a smiley after EVERY status message….because if its on the internet….IT MUST BE TRUE! :)

    Not saying people do not lie or take advantage of the system but this is going a little too far…

  • January 28, 2011 at 4:36 pm
    xena says:
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    And it they had not gone that far, this lying shack of poop might have gotten away with her little lie, too. Big Brother is watching and fools out there who think they are above the law find out otherwise; don’t they? I’m glad she got caught ;)

  • January 29, 2011 at 12:47 pm
    David B says:
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    I guess the in thing to do is put emoticons at the end of your email now. Well, I’m not falling for it. :)

  • January 31, 2011 at 4:27 am
    Jen says:
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    You do have to wonder where the line gets drawn between personal and public information these days. While the cases in the article are about claims, I wonder how many insurers actually tap into facebook, myspace, linkedin, … info when assessing an applicant for coverage? And if they don’t yet, how long before they do. Maybe a good thing for those of us who are in fact truthful in our applications, but what about situations where the ‘truth’ can be misconstrued? Definitely a big brother feeling… For bettter or worse, do think we are into a new world of information access.

  • February 1, 2011 at 7:29 pm
    mark says:
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    its pretty simple. Don’t put stupid stuff on your facebook!! People are idiots…

    • August 3, 2011 at 12:15 am
      MyThoughts says:
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      That’s right!! The REAL problem is that because of how FAST technology has grown, the legal system is SO far behind with regards to making and applying new or revised statutes to the already archaic legal system.

      If you don’t want your business out there is the world, then keep it in your head. People have NO idea how many social network sites there are that sell your information to spammers which makes your info. public info., NOT private.

      If it’s online, it’s fair game and our court systems are going to be using these sites for alot more than you can imagine. Think about it for a few minutes and you will see just how much of your life can be used against you in a court of law or other aspects of your life.

  • March 5, 2011 at 3:14 am
    Mom says:
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    I agree with Mark – don’t put stupid stuff on your Facebook or any social networking page. The real problem overall for all of this Internet stuff, and I mean ALL of the Internet is that it has evolved so fast that lawmakers can’t catch their breath in order to keep up with new laws for cyberspace.

    The Internet creates a very slippery slope for both sides, however, if we can find rapists, murderers, hit & run video footage, store cameras etc. then it helps with regard to crime, cheating, missing children etc. But, then there is the side of big brother breathing down your neck. Plain and simple, stay the honest law abiding citizen that you are and your life will hopefully remain hassle free.

    I love the ease that the Internet provides for things in my life, however, I know it has created a living nightmare for some families and has opened a terrible way for adults and kids to hurt one another, because, let’s face it, while you are sitting at your keyboard pissed as heck at someone, it’s easy to type something very hateful that you would note likely say to their face. Right?

    But, once you hit that send button, you can’t take it back and you can forever change your life or that of somebody else. I have had it both ways, I have typed in haste only to feel remorseful and have apologized. I learned my lesson from that the first time and would never think to do it again. If you aren’t man or woman enough to say those words right to the other person’s face, then it shouldn’t hit your keyboard. I unfortunately have also been on the receiving end of some very hurtful things which were unsolicited, hateful, spiteful, damaging to my reputation and this has changed my life forever. I never want anyone to feel what I feel, so, I do my best to not use the Internet as a weapon or a soapbox.

    I look forward to see what changes our lawmakers will institute in the future that will affect our lives in cyberspace.

    • April 6, 2011 at 11:33 am
      matt says:
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      RE: “I look forward to see what changes our lawmakers will institute in the future that will affect our lives in cyberspace.”

      All I can say is ‘Be Careful what you wish for’ — the internet has done just fine without any government intervention. It is government intervention that will ruin it. Look at the ideas coming out of Congress– ACTA, COICA and various other abominations mean to do one thing and one thing only: take control of the internet away from the people and give it to the government.

      Your government does not want information to flow freely and without its ability to censor undesirable information– the sooner everyone understands this the better we will all be. Ask a hundred college students in China about Tiananmen Square– none of them have ever heard of it.

  • April 6, 2011 at 11:29 am
    matt says:
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    Don’t upload photos to Facebook. Don’t use Facebook to “check in” to locations. In fact if you must use Facebook at all only use it as an online address book to keep track of your friends. Never accept a friend request from someone you don’t know. Check your privacy settings routinely. Know that, to a skilled user, access to your private personal information is only ever a few lines of code away.

    You think you have nothing to hide, but you never know what benign and routine stuff might be used against you by a cunning lawyer– I bet this woman never suspected a single typed :) smiley face would lead a lawyer to determine (some might say “divine”) her mental state at the time. I know people that type smileys or “LOL” at the end of every sentence regardless of mood.

    Download an encryption program called TrueCrypt. It’s free, it’s easy to use, and if you follow the instructions not even the NSA can crack the encryption. You can then sync the encrypted files with an online backup service, so even if the online backup is compromised the information stored will be inaccessible.

    • August 3, 2011 at 12:31 am
      MyThoughts says:
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      Matt,

      I truly think that it must be one h-ll of an attorney to get people to believe that “emoticons” or smiley faces on a post would mean that you are lying about an injury.

      Now if there were current photos of this woman doing something a person with an injured back shouldn’t be able to do then, by all means call her a$$ to the carpet and ask her why she is in court trying to obtain money by means of fraud and lies.

      Whether it’s Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Linkedin, Yahoo etc. the Internet is NOT private and we are light years away from having “cyberlaws” written into the law books. But I truly believe that this kind of social networking in the court room is going to make way for a lot of jobs in computer investigative work!

  • April 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm
    youngin' says:
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    I’m a Facebook holdout. There is just no reason to share that much information about myself with the world. I don’t think that makes me weird. I suppose the day is coming soon that it will be seen as “what’s wrong with this guy?”

  • May 10, 2011 at 6:06 pm
    Dev says:
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    “They ask judges to order plaintiffs to sign consent forms granting defendants access to their private material.”

    Why is someone being forced to sign something they don’t want to? When did that become lawful?

  • July 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm
    Scott Feder says:
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    I believe all information should be made available to both sides and it is a good thing. The point of our system is to find the truth. While that may be totally subverted in the real world, it is the point. And investigations by companies after an accident should be also allowed to be discovered. It should go both ways.

    • August 3, 2011 at 12:19 am
      MyThoughts says:
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      Even if your social life online isn’t made available in court, what do you think a Private Investigator uses as a way to get information? The Internet!

  • January 1, 2012 at 4:03 am
    faded says:
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    I think some facebook comments should be allowed as evidence. In reference to deadbeat dads who don’t support their children is a subject near and dear to me. Case in point, I know this guy who claims to be the father of the child; he posts pics of them on his page, tells of all these gifts he’s buying them, they mean the world to him, they always come first, etc, etc.
    NOt once since he abandonded his family has he offered to buy a box of pampers, milk, food, clothes; any thing an infant would need to survive. He doesn’t provide insurance, housing, rent, bills; He lives high on the hog on a $10/hr labor job…or, according to his facebook. He’s bought two engagement rings, three cell phones, two cars, always posts open ended invites to eat out, his treat, or as he says, “on me”. he’s taken several trips in the last few months….but doesn’t support his kid.
    Now, if he hadn’t posted on facebook then I could see it being difficult to nail him, but since he feels the NEED to tell the world his personal business, then I think his posts are fair game to the judge and courts. Just MHO.
    How do we know it’s him posting. Daily updates of his life, with HIS picture next to each post. Constantly posting updates throughout the day, from work, lunch, afterwork, before work, at night, from bed, can’t sleep. One of his “friends” went as far as to call him a “FB diva”. LOL. He belittles the kid’s mother on his facebook, his family and friends respond and agree ( they have never met the mother, but based on what he posts, she is a bitch).
    He has jeopardized the mother and child’s health and safety because of his comments, not just one, but hundreds, since his facebook’s inception.
    The mother is afraid to go out in public because his “friends” or “family” may feel compelled to “help” him out and visciously confront her or even attack and take the kid away from her and give to him; because based on what HE posts on his facebook, he’s getting the “father of the YEAR” award soon. He fails to commment on how each time he calls the mother he ends up cussing her and then she hangs up and he calls 20 times, repeatedly, after that. Each time things dont go his way, WE know to go check his facebook because he WILL comment on what a terrible person the mother of his kid is; GUARANTEED!!!
    HIS facebook is PUBLIC. even a billygoat has the sense to set the security to as private as allowed…LOL



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