Facebook and Risky Disclosures

People love Facebook, Twitter and other social-networking websites to share information about their lives with their “friends.” Twitter will help members “share and discover what’s happening, right now anywhere in the world.”

However, many have learned to be careful with what they share online. Opposing lawyers for disputants in personal injury and divorce cases, for instance, are searching the “social landscape” for evidence.

What Kinds?

Diamond jewelry for a girlfriend of a separated husband who claims he has limited marital assets.
Resumes and job applications from a divorcing wife who requested substantial alimony because she was unemployable.
Photos of a mother in a child-custody case who swore she stopped consuming alcohol, holding a beer at a family get-together.
If someone is in an auto accident and is making the claim that they are hurt, insurance companies will search that person’s Facebook page or Twitter feed to see if there are any pictures of them participating in activities that are not typical of someone who is in pain. For instance if someone is undergoing treatment for neck and back pain but has pictures of themselves playing volleyball on vacation, it will severely damage their credibility.

Others watch social networking sites, too. For instance, law enforcement officials scan them to capture wrongdoers who brag about crimes they have committed. Employers scan job applicants’ pages for embarrassing or even incriminating information and photographs. Therefore, always be mindful of what you post on Facebook, especially if involved in litigation.

Even if you are not involved in litigation it is wise to be mindful of what other ramifications the things you put online may have. Frequently employers will monitor employees’ or prospective employees’ Facebook pages. If an employee rants about their coworkers or bosses online, they may have reason to fire them. If they badmouth a former employer, it may be reason enough not to hire them in the first place.

Also on Facebook, check out the Larson Law page for recent news and helpful information. We will try not to post anything that will embarrass or incriminate us later.