SOCIAL MEDIA INVESTIGATION
If you’re not reviewing social media posts of your opponents, you’re leaving evidence on the table. By voluntarily posting personal information to Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, individuals and organizations are creating an abundant source of discoverable information.
The numbers are impressive. More than 73% of online adults now use some form of social networking. A January 2014 study found that 180 million Americans use Facebook. A 2010 survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported that twenty percent of divorces involved Facebook. Courts have taken notice.
“[I]t should now be a matter of professional competence for attorneys to take the time to investigate social networking sites.” – Griffin v. Maryland, (Maryland Court of Special Appeals, May 2010)
In 2011, a Virginia judge ordered attorney Matthew Murray to pay more than $522,000 for instructing his client to remove photos from Facebook. Murray, a past-president of the Virginia Bar, is no longer practicing law.
Here in Florida, earlier this year a Miami court set aside an $80,000 settlement after the daughter of the plaintiff violated a non-disclosure provision by posting on Facebook.
While social media evidence can be highly relevant to litigation and investigations, and is widely discoverable, authentication can present a problem. Unless uncontroverted and cooperative witness testimony is available, the proponent must rely on other means to establish a proper foundation. Many courts have held that metadata and file level hash values associated with ESI are sufficient circumstantial evidence to establish social media’s authenticity.
Forensic Data uses specialized search techniques to find valuable social media evidence. Once located, we can use advanced tools to capture and preserve social media in searchable native format, while preserving critical metadata not possible through image capture or printouts. That metadata can be used to authenticate social media evidence to assist with getting it admitted.
Contact us today for help finding and preserving your social media evidence.