When we’ve discussed the potential legal pitfalls of social media, we have emphasized the practice of indiscriminate posting to your feeds while involved in a legal matter. Posting to your Facebook wall, Twitter account, or Instagram, regardless of the intention behind the post, could end up compromising your case. It’s easy to imagine how, for example, posting a picture of yourself engaged in what appears to be physical activity to your Facebook while receiving disability pay could be problematic.
There are three important, perhaps less obvious, things you should know when it comes to social media and your legal matters:
- Making your profile “private” does not protect the content you post from discovery. The opposing party can seek your social media information, either making you obtain it, or potentially trying to get it from the platforms themselves.
- Because your social media content is potentially relevant evidence, deleting any information could adversely impact your case (resulting in sanctions or even dismissal of the case entirely).
- Be wary of imposter accounts that may intentionally post damaging information. If it occurs, document the post and inform your attorney, but do not respond.
The nature of social media communication and its high degree of visibility often leads to unforeseen legal consequences regardless of the user’s intention. Even content posted by others can negatively impact your case. Because of these reasons, we generally advise our clients to take a hiatus from their accounts altogether during an on-going case. If you have any questions, please contact us.