Social media as evidence in litigation

OVER the past couple of weeks, I have been talking about the relevance of social media posts in the context of family law disputes, in particular, Facebook posts that can be used as evidence.

However, this type of evidence is not just relevant to family law disputes and it is being used in a wide variety of legal matters.

The monitoring and investigation of social media is becoming increasingly common in litigation, particularly in injury and insurance claims and employment disputes (e.g. dismissal of an employee for posts made on social media that breach terms of their employment contract).

Investigation of a claimant’s social media posts (“claimant” being the party who makes the claim) may even take place before the claim has commenced.

An example of such a situation would be if an insured person or company notified their insurer of a potential claim and this then triggered them to start looking at the potential claimant’s social media profile(s) and taking screen shots of potentially relevant posts.

The discovery of relevant post(s) is only one factor though.

What if a claim is later commenced and a further investigation shows that the claimant has since deleted those posts?

It certainly wouldn’t look good for the claimant, but it may also expose them to allegations of fraud and/or even the destruction of evidence.

These are serious allegations and, if there is truth to them, there can be serious consequences.

Until next week – Keep it Legal!

Katie Caldow
kcaldow@walkerpender.com.au

*The legal information in this article is of a general nature only and not intended to be legal advice to rely upon.

Walker PenderSocial media as evidence in litigation