Social media– Facebook, Twitter, blogs and so on– is very popular. We connect with friends, promote our businesses and keep up with the world around us. Social media may be popular, but it is not private!
A judge in New York confirmed this fact, holding that Facebook postings are not private and can be used in court as a statement against you. How you appear on the internet is a common question in Missouri lawsuits.
This shouldn’t shock anyone. I tell clients regularly not to post or blog about their case. Your discussions with your attorney are protected by the attorney/client privilege, and no one can compel you to discuss these private conversations. However, if you tell someone what your lawyer said, you could give up that privacy. And if you put it on the internet, you haven’t just told someONE, you have told EVERYONE.
While you are trying to recover your losses after an injury, expect your adversaries to be searching the internet for information about you. /What you say on the internet, even though it seems innocent, may be used against you. For example, if you post a picture while working in your yard, they will show it to the jury and claim you are exaggerating your injury if you can do yard work. The jury won’t see that you were in pain afterwards, or that it was a one-second activity of course, and you will be portrayed as a faker.
Remember the 3 rules from the movie “Fight Club” (paraphrased)
1. Don’t talk about your law suit.
2. Don’t talk about your law suit.
3. Don’t talk about your law suit.
Keep information about your case private. Don’t talk about your lawsuit with anyone but your attorneys, and certainly don’t post on the internet about your lawsuit! The best advice is to avoid blogging and social media completely when you have a case pending. This seems like a lot to expect, so at the very least, don’t talk about your case and limit who can see your information on social media in your privacy settings.
On Facebook, (from a desktop web browser like Chrome, Internet Explorer or Firefox) go to the down arrow at the right side of the blue bar at the top of your page and click “settings.” A menu will show up on the left side.
Next to “Who can see my stuff?”
edit “Who can see your future posts?” to Friends.
edit “Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends of friends or Public?” to Limit Past Posts
Next to “Who can look me up?”
edit “Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?” to No
Go back to the left side menu and limit “Followers” to Friends
If you are using other social media, follow the directions on the sites to limit who can see your postings. If you have any questions about how to do it, call us! These changes are good ways to keep your life private from outsiders, will help protect you from identity thieves and scammers, and keep insurance companies from spying on you while letting you stay in touch with your friends.