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Social Media Posts - Users Beware

22 November 2021

More than ever before, individuals are using a range of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn. The amount of content posted to social media by the public is unprecedented. 

Likewise, lawyers have seen an increase in the number of cases involving social media. As technology develops and evolves, so too does the law when it comes to the use of social media.

The Courts can serve documents through social media?

Social media platforms have been recognised by the Courts as a means of serving a party with court documents.

Social media terms and conditions

Most people do not realise that by creating a social media account, they are entering into a contractual relationship with the platform provider.  By agreeing to “Terms of Use” the user grants the platform licence to use content that they share. This means the user loses exclusive control of their photographs, comments, and opinions.

Users of social media must also accept that their digital footprint is forever, and can be used to trace their location, retrieve information, and provide evidence of alleged facts in legal matters. These platforms can open up a legal can of worms including defamation, bullying, harassment, and so on.

What you post can be used in Court

In addition, what an individual posts can often seriously damage their credibility and damage their case. For instance, it will be difficult to convince a party that your ankle injury has not resolved if you are posting Instagram pictures of bungy-jumping on holiday in Bali. Similarly, rants about an ex partner on Facebook may cause serious problems in a family law dispute.

As a general rule, remember social media is not an appropriate means of sharing sensitive or valuable content.