Courts Force More People to Share Facebook Posts With Adversaries
More and more courts are forcing Facebook and other social media web site members to share their passwords and password-protected pages through the discovery process in litigation.
So far, this is happening most frequently in personal injury cases when the defendant hopes to discredit the plaintiff's claims of injury or disability.
Images and messages that seemed perfectly innocent when posted, can often tell a story that could be damaging in a non-social context.
While Facebook is an attractive source of information for injury defense lawyer the potential is there in nearly all types of litigation.
Recently, a New York (See NY Times article here) judge forced divorcing spouses battling over child custody to share their Facebook passwords through their attorneys.
The only real caveat was that neither party could misuse the password by pretending to be the other.
All bid the most reckless among us have always considered It unwise to post photos or comments that might raise the eyebrow of a potential employer or disappoint a parent, but rarely do we imagine a situation where we are ordered by a court of law to give an adversary the same no-holds-barred access to our on-line activities that we give our friends.
Few people plan to become embroiled in lawsuits but, at a minimum, we should self-censor our social media posts anytime we are or may be headed toward the courts.
Also, even though planning for divorce while we're happily married is about as romantic as negotiating a prenuptial agreement while we're engaged, divorce does happen.
We should take care not to paper the walls of our Facebook and other social networking spaces with anything that might reflect poorly on us as partners or parents.
Not only will this ensure that we will avoid unnecessary and unexpected embarrassment at some point In the future, it will make us better people.