Social Media Legal Refresher 101

For those of you that didn’t get the memo

Facebook, Twitter and the law

businessman in suit with hands in handcuffsAs the times get better and people start taking Facebook and other social media for granted people tend to get arrogant and mouthy because they forget that the media is exactly that, the media. Because of the digital revolution there is a new legal arena evolving. It’s main point is that the author is ultimately responsible for their content. It now encompasses  much of the social media. And because of it’s impact it is being allowed to be used in the prosecution of everyday processes such as divorces, child custody and fraud. And people that want to voice their opinions … feel free to do so. If you choose to make remarks that could possibly be taken as, say, slander or direct assaults, or even threats, Have at it. But there is a cost involved. 100% accountability by the author. This isn’t my rule the US courts have passed this down. I’m just passing on the news just in case you missed it.  Kind of like my version of a Public Service Announcement! Anyone with any web savvy can pull up a laundry list the events recently that have involved the repercussions of an unfortunate Tweet or Facebook post.

“Our society’s inclination to tweet, post and share everything about our personal lives can be fun – but it can also lead to legal trouble,” said Larry Bodine, Esq., editor-in-chief of Lawyers.com. “Our survey shows that most people are unaware that their online ‘digital trail’ can and will be used against them in legal situations, despite privacy settings or deleted posts.” Read Article here

And the criminal investigations are carried out at all levels of law enforcement. What this means is that if you chose to say something or post something, words, pictures, status, whatever, be aware that you are solely responsible for the content of that post.

More than 70 percent of law enforcement agencies across the U.S. use social media as an investigative tool, and the trend is growing. In a recent survey, officers reported using Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and other social networks to identify suspects, find out who their friends are and monitor their activities. Plenty of criminals make the job even easier by broadcasting their misdeeds online. If you’ve broken the law and are tempted to brag about it online, make sure you know who your “friends” are. The cops could be watching. See Infographic here

And if you think deleting it is a defense… well…. don’t count on it! Apparently you haven’t been watching enough of the evening news to grasp the fact that it ALL recoverable. Remember Mr. Kilpatrick??

Take a look at this article What you post can be used against you in court HERE

And speaking of child custody, we really weren’t but iI thought I would throw it out there for your consumption, you may want to read up on this one

Child Custody-Family Court and Social Media
In the past few years, it has become much more common for social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and blogs to be used in family law cases.  Social media evidence is now routinely used in divorce cases, alimony reduction hearings, child support hearings, and child custody dispute hearings.  Evidence obtained from social media sites have shown to be crucial to a case. Read More here

And now for my special note :To those of you on Facebook and Twitter that think you in some way smarter than everyone else or believe that you can hide behind the veil of the net and social media may want to rethink what it is you are posting. The ruling is that YOU are 100% responsible for any and all media that you post. And do not be aghast when it comes back at you as something like a court order or warrant.

The old sayings go something like this – “Don’t let your mouth write checks that your a$$ can’t cash” or ” Don’t let your alligator mouth overload your hummingbird a$$”

This is not rocket science but it is the new technology! Ain’t it kool!?

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bzerob

I am an aging American Navy veteran with some very pointed and acidic opinions. Feel free to heed the warning and read on.

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