A judge has just ruled that postings to social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace are admissable as evidence! And you thought you were protected by blocking your messages and only showing them to friends? Not any longer..
Here is the lead-in to the article:
Court Allows Use of Facebook, MySpace Communications
July 27, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A federal judge has agreed to allow a Florida-based self-storage company being sued for sexual harassment to have copies of two female plaintiffs’ postings on the Facebook and MySpace social networking Web sites.
In another example of how the courts continue to struggle with the legal implications of the wildly popular social networking trend, U.S. Magistrate Debra McVicker Lynch of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana ruled that the two women’s Facebook and MySpace communications could be relevant to their harassment allegations.
Lynch agreed with lawyers for defendant Simply Storage Management that communications plaintiffs Tara Strahl and Joanie Zupan had on their Facebook and MySpace pages could help uncover what happened to them.
“It is reasonable to expect severe emotional or mental injury to manifest itself in some SNS (social networking site) content and an examination of that content might reveal whether onset occurred, when, and the degree of distress,” Lynch wrote in one of two orders issued earlier this year dealing with the issue. “Further, information that evidences other stressors that could have produced the alleged emotional distress is also relevant. Thus, the court determines that some SNS discovery is appropriate here.”