Dangers and Evidence Provided by Facebook and Other Social Media in Divorces, Claims and Lawsuits

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Facebook, the world’s largest social network has over eight million users around the world. The New York Times reported that Facebook has become one of the “new titans of the Internet,” challenging even Google with a vision of a Web tied together through personal relationships.

Facebook is no doubt one of the most popular sites in the world, but your right to privacy is at risk the minute you log onto Facebook. It is possible that your personal information might be involuntarily shared with third parties due to security gaffes, marketing efforts, scam artists, or in the litigation context—opposing counsel.

Recently, a judge in Pennsylvania ruled that an attorney could access a worker’s Facebook account to discredit his claim that he suffered embarrassment and lost wages because of a workplace accident. The worker claimed he was unable to “enjoy life and life’s pleasures” or wear shorts because of an embarrassing scar, but he posted pictures on the public portion of his Facebook page which show him wearing shorts that reveal his leg scar and riding a motorcycle.

The defense filed a motion to gain access to his private Facebook posting. The judge rejected the worker’s privacy argument because the worker had voluntarily posted all the pictures and information on his Facebook page. The judge said that, “with the initiation of litigation …. any relevant, nonprivileged information about one’s life that is shared with others and can be gleaned by defendants from the Internet is fair game in today’s society.”

While one of the fun things about Facebook is sharing photos and messages with friends, keep in mind that the Internet is also a public resource. Only post information you are comfortable with anyone seeing because it can come back to haunt you in Jacksonville divorce proceeding or other legal proceeding or lawsuit For more information on this topic, see Facebook may poke holes in Northumberland County lawsuit.