Contrary to popular belief, it is legal to use communications garnered from social media sites as evidence. In fact, courts today are more than willing to admit social media content as a form of evidence both for and against you.
It’s never safe to assume that anything you share online (publicly or in private messages) is fully confidential. Everything you share on social media can become part of the public record – whether you want it or not. So, if you want to protect yourself and your privacy, use these tips to stay safe:
- Don’t share anything that you would not otherwise tell freely in public.
- Consider using one of the best VPN services available to keep your online activities protected against snooping, interference and censorship.
- Do not click on risky apps and dangerous links sent via social media. These can give hackers access to spy on you.
- Don’t respond to messages from strangers.
In retrospect, you should also carefully document all the digital communication you have had with another party up-to-date and be forthcoming about it if you want to maximize the success of your settlement.
When you are involved in a lawsuit (whether as a plaintiff or defendant), the rules of evidence apply to your social media content just as they do to other forms of evidence.
It is not advisable to try to delete the content you have shared online, and depending on the circumstances, such activity can be considered serious. Even “permanently” deleted content can be recovered using new-gen forensic recovery methods. A client is permitted to adjust their privacy settings, but must not take any further actions that the court may deem as suspicious. For example, a court may find that a negative inference should be held against you for the destruction or spoliation of relevant evidence. This can have adverse consequences to your case, and attorneys representing clients with social media properties.
Hence forth, every lawyer in this day and age should advise their clients how to manage their social media content accordingly.
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