A Guide to Posting on Social Media during Litigation
Social media is affecting different aspects of our lives. For most of us, our interaction with social media begins the moment we wake up and lasts until the time we sleep at night. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are only some of the examples of social media that we use to communicate and connect with the world.
In the legal world, however, social media is useful because it contains a huge amount of valuable information that may be used against you. Litigators have discovered that social media is a great place to harvest information that can be useful in litigation processes.
Here are some guidelines on how to post on social media when involved in litigation.
Do not post about your present location/ whereabouts.
Remember that anything you post on social media, especially where you are during a particular point in time, can easily be used against you. Posting photos, statuses, and videos of altercations and accidents on Facebook can possibly affect your claim.
Do not accept friend requests from strangers.
During a litigation, it is best to clean up your friends’ list on Facebook or followers on other social media accounts. Do not accept requests from strangers or suspicious accounts. People who have access to your account can use its contents against you.
Be careful about posting photos and status updates.
No matter how innocent a photo looks, some litigators may actually perceive it and use it differently. When posting photos, always make sure that they will not compromise you and your reputation. The same is true for status updates. More importantly, do not post anything about the case, whether it is information, a fact, an opinion or a comment.
Change your privacy settings.
Anything you post online that can be accessed can and may be used against you. Changing the privacy settings of your posts will keep relevant information hidden and inaccessible from the public. If you think there is something you have posted online that can be misinterpreted or used against you, change its privacy settings to “only me”.
Consult with your attorney when deleting posts.
When you have posts that you think can be used against you, do not delete it right away. You can change its privacy settings first, then ask your attorney if you can delete it. If the judge finds out that you deleted information, you may be accused of spoiling evidence.
Lie low during the litigation process.
During litigation, try to limit your interaction and participation on social media. Avoid posting too much information. Limit your comments and participation in group chats.
Remove your tags on photos.
When tagged on photos by others, either remove the tag or change the privacy settings of your tagged photos. Since it is hard to regulate who is posting photos of you, always keep a vigilant eye and see if there might be photos that will compromise your case.
The safest way to ensure that you do not compromise yourself is to take some time off from social media during litigation.