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We’re Facebook Friends

For many people and businesses, Facebook has woven its way into the fabric of their lives and how they conduct business.  Facebook and other social media outlets are often used to keep friends and customers or clients that we may not often see regularly updated on the comings and goings of our lives or business.  Like many other aspects of our lives, social media may have unintended impact on our lives or business.      

Rachel Christian of the Mount Vernon Democrat recently reported that the Posey County Sheriff caught a burglar who was “friending” people of Facebook and then purportedly monitor their feed to determine when individuals were on vacation or away from their homes leaving them vulnerable for being burglarized. http://www.mvdemocrat.com/content/law-enforcement%E2%80%99s-love-hate-relationship-social-media (last visited March 4, 2017).  In that case, social media assisted in the discovery of that alleged criminal activity.  However, the article candidly noted the Sheriff’s position on social media.  He stated, “[t]he relationship between social networking and law enforcement is like many things – it can be a blessing, and it can be a curse[.]”  Police note in the article that sharing things or notifying others that things have been stolen or taken on social media can often lead to suspected criminals hiding or ditching the stolen goods.  

As recently as 2014, the Indiana Court of Appeals noted that they were “unaware of any cases in which an Indiana court has addressed the issue of authentication of social media posts.”  Wilson v. State, 30 N.E.3d 1264, 1268 (Ind. Ct. App.), transfer denied, 35 N.E.3d 671 (Ind. 2015).  In that case, the Court found that witness testimony identifying the Twitter account to the defendant and the content of the post itself were sufficient to authenticate the post as belonging to the defendant.  As such, it was properly admitted.  Both outside and inside the courtroom, social media can have significant, often unintended impact on our lives or business.    

Looking for a Lafayette civil rights attorney that understands your criminal and appellate rights? Contact the attorneys at Keffer Barnhart LLP today if you have questions or believe your constitutional or criminal rights have been violated.  We stand ready to provide our clients with trusted representation and accurate information regarding the law and its application to their individualized case.  Act now and contact us today at 1-800-NOT-GUILTY or (317) 857-0160.