We live in a world where everything is shared on social media. People cannot take a photo of anything without posting it on Instagram, nobody can do anything without telling their Facebook friends about it, and Twitter has become the place to share unfiltered thoughts with the world. Posting on social media has almost become a compulsion for some people, especially since it’s regarded as harmless. Sadly, what you post on social media could come back to haunt you, especially if you are facing a court case.
Social Media and the Court of Law
In the past, police officers and private investigators would have to go through a lot of effort to find information about a person’s character, whereabouts during a specific event or the severity of their injury. A defendant or some particularly smart Pittsburgh attorneys were able to use this to their advantage, and in some cases it seemed like the truth would never come out. Today, social media has made it easier than ever to find out some surprisingly intimate information on an individual, and the law has noticed. It is not at all uncommon for Facebook and Twitter posts to be admissible as evidence in court. In some cases, a Facebook account is the first place the police or an insurance company might look if they need evidence against someone.
And yet, many people are slow to catch on to this fact. The compulsive need to post everything on social media that people seem to have has led to vacation photos of people who were allegedly injured and online conversations that directly contradict what someone might have said during their own divorce proceedings.
People make very obvious mistakes with what they post to social media, even when their reputations are at stake. If you’re facing any kind of court case or legal trouble, here are just a few things you should never do on social networks.
Never Accept Friend Requests from People You Don’t Know
When you post anything on Facebook, it can be viewed by all of your friends. This is mostly harmless if your Facebook friends are all people you know and trust, but just about everyone has received friend requests from people they don’t know very well or at all. This is the perfect way for someone to get close to someone without actually being close to them, so you should ignore random friend requests from people you don’t recognize. They could be literally anybody.
Never Say Online What You Wouldn’t Say in Court
There was a time when the internet provided almost complete anonymity. People appeared as nothing more than a screen name, and they could say anything to anybody while keeping their identities secret. That isn’t the case anymore, yet a shocking number of people act like it is. Anything you post on the internet will be there forever, and it will probably be linked to at least one of your social media accounts complete with your name and face. These posts are not private and will be used against you, so don’t post anything you really don’t want people to know.
Tell Your Friends to Be Careful What They Post About You
People like to tag their friends in photos and videos all the time. This seems like a fun practice, one of these photos can be used as evidence against you if it’s taken out of context even though you didn’t post it yourself. Make sure you talk to your friends and tell them not to tag you in any photos or videos, no matter how funny they think they are.
The most important thing to remember about the internet is that nothing on it ever truly goes away. You can do damage control and delete anything you don’t want out in public, but this isn’t always effective if someone has already seen it. It’s best to use social media sparingly and carefully, especially if there is a court case in your future.
If you find yourself facing any sort of legal issues, get in touch with a team of Pittsburgh lawyers you can count on by calling Allegheny Attorneys at Law. From the moment you call, our team of experienced attorneys takes a personal interest in your case, not resting until your rights are protected. Schedule your free initial consultation today and discover how we can help you win your case.