How social media can affect your legal situation

In the 21st century, social media has evolved into a fundamental pillar of communication. It has revolutionised the way we do business, the way we find and share information and the way we engage with friends and family. Not surprisingly, social media is now also recognised as having an impact on the outcome of legal proceedings.

Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.  These technologies or platforms take on many different forms and can include Internet forums, blogs, social networks, podcasts, video search engines and more.

Many agree that social media has played a vital role in allowing the democratisation of the internet. But despite these advantages, online social media also presents a unique set of challenges for the legal profession. Social media can significantly impact decisions made in a courtroom.

Generally, any postings online should be considered the same as email or text messages. Social media evidence can include photographs, status updates, people’s location at a certain time and direct communications to a person’s social media accounts.  This information can be used as evidence in court.  For example, in family law cases, derogatory comments posted about your ex-partner in custody cases, can be tendered in court to reveal your attitude and true feelings about the other person and used to contradict your sworn evidence.

Social media is impacting many areas of the law from workplace relations to defamation cases. It is a lawyer’s responsibility to understand what these impacts are in order to be able to provide a comprehensive service to their clients.

Rostron Carlyle’s team of experienced family lawyers can advise you on your social media rights and responsibilities. They combine years of experience with a genuine passion for helping protect the rights of their clients. For more information about how social media can impact the outcome of your family law case, contact them today on (07) 3009 8444.

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