As a 3 year member of the Facebook community I continue to be amazed at the personal information that my “Friends” place on their Facebook status. A recent marijuana arrest of a Madison, Mississippi couple caused me to think how such updates on social media outlets could come back to haunt you.
In the above article, the news reporter writing the story went to the Facebook pages for the couple and the couple’s children in order to obtain background information for the story. Several intimate details of the family’s life was detailed on Facebook. You can be sure that whenever a person is arrested, the police quickly find out which of the numerous social media outlets the person is on to see if they can find any evidence to use against them.
Here are just a few examples of some actual Facebook status updates:
“Please pray for my friend John Doe. He suffered a back injury and is undergoing surgery tomorrow”. (That’s a violation of someone’s medical privacy, commonly known as a HIIPA violation even though there is no civil action for a HIPPA violation. However, it could be an invasion of privacy).
“I can’t believe the nerve of some people! You know who you are Jane Doe! Stealing my BF behind my back! You are a slut and a whore! (Possibly slander depending on Jane Doe’s reputation).
“Ima go get my drink on tonight!” (Several hours later this idiot was involved in a serious auto accident in which he was the driver.)
The Huffington Post listed 13 Facebook Posts that got people arrested.
These are just a few examples of some of the “updates” people feel the urge to post on Facebook. We’ve all seen similar posts. In fact, posts like this have led me to “hide” more “friends” than the F.B.I. Witness Protection Program.
I understand how we love to use Facebook to let our friends and family know what’s going on in our lives. But we need to remember, when you post something on Facebook a lot of people see the information that you may not want to see it. You should also remember that anything you say can and will be used against your in a Court of law should you decide to say something stupid.
Chuck Mullins has been Twittering and Facebooking for three (3) years without using “LOL” in a post. If you want to find out more about Chuck, go to the Coxwell & Associates web site.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.