The popularity of Facebook and other “second lives” people lead on the internet has given rise to social media playing an increasingly prevalent role in the courts. Earlier this month, a judge in New Jersey ruled that a woman could be prosecuted for identity theft after apparently creating a fake Facebook account for her ex-boyfriend. She used the account to insinuate that he had herpes, visited prostitutes, and was “high” all the time. The man was a narcotics detective, so the claims were especially problematic for him.
Similarly, a Michigan case recently saw a judge order both parties in a divorce to exchange passwords to their Facebook accounts. The parties are fighting over custody of their children, and the father claims his ex-wife’s social networking history will show that she is incapable of taking care of the children. The judge ordered the two of them to exchange passwords and also told them they must refrain from posting messages in the other party’s name.
It’s only a matter of time before these issues start popping up in Florida. It’s very important to remember that anything you post on line can be accessed by someone else. Nothing you post is completely anonymous and it will remain on the Internet forever. Be professional and think before saying things, especially if you are involved in a dispute.