Evidence Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Social Media

Facebook Postings as Evidence: They Are Not Just for Social Networking Anymore

Yet another example of the law of unintended consequences at work: Those seemingly frivolous Facebook posts can be a prime source of evidence in a legal case. Facebook posts have a wide range of potential evidentiary value, from information on a person’s feelings, which may be particularly relevant in family law cases, to the use of geo-tagging for determining where a person was at a particular time. 

Jolie O’Dell of argues that “judges don’t have many compunctions about admitting such evidence, the reigning wisdom being that it’s difficult to impossible to make a fraudulent entry of some kind on a user’s Facebook page.” Our post on a jilted lover’s hacking of her ex’s Facebook account shows how untrue that assumption is and the possible dangers of relying on Facebook posts as evidence.

What do you think? Do you use Facebook posts as evidence in your practice? Should they be admissible?

For comprehensive coverage of evidence issues, turn to the gold-standard—CEB’s Jefferson’s California Evidence Benchbook.

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9 replies on “Facebook Postings as Evidence: They Are Not Just for Social Networking Anymore”

I have a client from Florida, who is arbitrating a dispute with his employer, an on-line real estate company, who claims he stole trade secrets while employed as a District Director, and that he unfairly competed, by filing articles of incorporation for a corporation that would compete with the employer. In searching the internet I found the real estate company’s facebook page with client names posted- guess the customer list won’t qualify as a trade secret-

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