Facebook has become a social network that has taken the world by storm. Thousands of companies have come together to allow us to virtually log in anywhere, anytime. There are applications for facebook itself, and applications so that you can actually post your location. Certain businesses or institutions can even be tagged as the location that you are at. Cameras, phones, enable our ability to snap thousands of photos and upload them instantly. What exactly does this mean for us as citizens? What are our rights?
The above symbol, which is globally known, just may become your worst nightmare. For some people, it already is. In the court room, domestic issues are being helped along by facebook. Facebook has become divorce lawyers new best friend (Gonzalez, 2010). After all, if you "check in" at a bar and tag a person whom its suspected you are cheating on your spouse with, exactly how are you going to explain that when it is brought up in court? According to Gonzalez (2010), facebook has become the third most important source for evidence in divorce and custody cases, with cell phone records and emails leading.
Does the above photo look familiar? Many of you may have friends that upload these types of pictures and "tag" you in them. What many people do not realize, and this applies to any photo that you are tagged in, is that when you are tagged those photos are not just available to your friends to see but also the friends of the individual that posted it AND the friends of anyone else that was tagged in that photo. As I mentioned above, cameras and photos have enabled us to take photos anywhere, anytime, and we don't always know when are pictures are taken, or where it might end up.
According to Wilson (2012), Venice Beach, a rapper and artist was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Shortly after he was released he is noted for tweeting that the prosecutors are trying to admit over 100 pages from his social media networks (one of which is his facebook) as evidence (Wilson, 2012).
Not everyone is dumb when it comes to facebook. As we get older, and mature, many of us have edited our friends list to include only those that we trully know. Not only that but the option to mark your information as "friends only" is an additional protection. However, this cannot always protect us in court. According to McMillan (2011), Eric Sinrod, a San Fran lawyer is noted as saying "a judicial willingness to compel the disclosure of Facebook material to the other side in litigation". Now what does this mean? Basically it is means that lawyers can submit a request to have your facebook password revealed so that they can get into your account.
Many people do not think about these types of things when they are out having fun on the weekend, tagging their friends, and tagging the bars they are at. This is extremely important to U.S. citizens, because we need to know how to protect ourselves. It is also very important to us in this class, as students getting ready to go out and seek jobs in the criminal justice field. I have already been repeatedly warned that when I am applying to departments I may want to do away with my facebook page, because some departments require you to surrender your password so they can go through it. Not a lot of people think about this, and it's definitely something I think we all need to be as informed as possible on.
Gonzalez, V. (2010, June 13). Facebook evidence used in court against cheating, drinking spouses. Star News Online. Retrieved from: http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20100613/articles/100619858
Wilson, S. (2012, March 6). Venice rapper 'killer reese one' says facebook posts, tweets, lyrics used against him in court. LA Weekly. Retrieved from: http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2012/03/venice_rapper_killer_reese_one.php
McMillan, G. (2011, May 25). Even your "friends only" facebook material can be used in court. Time Techland. Retrieved from: http://techland.time.com/2011/05/25/even-your-friends-only-facebook-material-can-be-used-in-court/