Social Media is No Legal Lame Duck

Mar 14th, 2015 | By | Category: Blog, Hot Topics in Law

Social Media now plays a major role in litigation

I have touched upon this topic in the past but after some recent experience I feel it is worth going over again. In this new decade of overwhelming social media, with forums such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, people now open themselves up to more liability in what they say. No more does testimony in court boil down to “he said, she said.”

 

Now with Facebook, practically taking the world by storm overnight, said communication is permanently embedded and one must live with the consequences once they make their proclamations. Judges and attorneys now refer to social media communications without much scrutiny to its authenticity and validity. Most jurisdictions are taking the communication at face value and things progress from there. No more is Facebook and similar technology considered to be “kids stuff.” Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook said he wanted to change the world and he did. What is impressive to me is that he went so far as to infiltrate and change the legal system to an extent which has always been historically conservative with regard to change.

In recent news, comedian Gilbert Gottfried made some remarks on his Twitter page that made light of the latest tsunami in Japan. Gilbert was subsequently fired from his job as spokesperson for insurance giant Aflac. For those who are unaware, Gottfried provided the voice of the duck which appeared on virtually all of Aflac’s commercials. It is up for debate as to whether Gilbert should of been fired for his Twitter comments alone, but what is not up for debate is the fact that communication on Social Media outlets do not go unnoticed.

So if you are a frequent user of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and the like, make sure what you say is something you are comfortable with the world knowing. If not, comments made in haste can come back to legally haunt you. Just ask Gilbert “Got-fired.”

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