Evidence From Social Media
The obsession with social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. With over 500 million Facebook members spending close to 700 billion minutes a month on the website, people are displaying their entire lives on the Internet with pictures, videos, status updates people can see at the click of a mouse. Many people document parties and daily outings that could potentially have severe legal consequences in the courtroom if someone is looking for photographic evidence or trying to verify alibis.
Recent reports have brought attention to the increased use of future employers looking at job applicants’ Facebook pages, and it is a similar scenario when dealing with the courtroom. This isn’t limited to Facebook alone. Statistics say there are 300,000 people signing up for Twitter a day, creating more platforms to share once-private information with the world.
Using Social Media for Legal Evidence
The average person creates 90 new pieces of content a month on Facebook. And whether it is a status update or photo album documenting the weekend, it is all fair game for lawyers and judges to use against you in court. You no longer need skilled teams of private investigators to check alibis or find proof because everything is online. Social media has affected legal proceedings in the following ways:
- Photos of parties or other events as direct evidence
- Videos providing real-time recordings
- Status postings indicating where you are at specific times
- Friend postings indicating locations and times of activities
Once you post something on the Internet, it becomes public domain and is generally available for anybody to use against you, so it is very important to be careful with what you post on your social networking sites.