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Facebook and Twitter and…Court - OH NO!

Facebook and Twitter and…Court - OH NO!

Facebook and Twitter and…Court - OH NO!

When the Facebook craze was in full effect I told myself I would never get an account. The way I saw it was why would I want to be “friends” with someone who I knew in grade 2, where our interaction was solely playing Lego together, and now all of a sudden some 20 years later he thinks that we’re old mates.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a Facebook account. I primarily use it to keep in touch with family and friends overseas and to share my frustration or delight in anything that happens in sport i.e. my New England Patriots winning the Super Bowl this year – Go Pats!

However I’m often both shocked and appalled at the things people post on Facebook these days. It’s incredible what happens when some people get behind a keyboard. While I understand Facebook and other social media outlets are platforms for people to opine about their thoughts, ideas, views and even what they ate for dinner, it is important to be mindful of what you post on the internet, including and especially social media sites.


It is so easy, and I have seen it in the past, for people to have a bad day in Court, get behind a keyboard and channel their inner John Grisham. I have seen posts which denigrate the other party and/or their family, make some underhanded comment about how handover took place, make a comment about the knowledge (or lack thereof) of a Judge or Magistrate and of course the all-time classic “the legal system isn’t fair” and then proceed to update their Facebook status explaining why that is the case.

Here’s a newsflash. Not only has that information been disseminated for the whole world to see, I’d bet a Buffalo Nickel that those posts will soon find its way annexed to the back of an Affidavit which you will then need to explain to the Court, and I can assure you, it won’t be pleasant.

The Court is a bit like Vegas – what happens in Court stays in Court. Not only would it be silly but your credibility as a party to the proceedings would take a massive hit if the Court forms the view that you’ve not been taking the proceedings seriously and that you’re constantly tweeting about it.

Now I know you’re thinking – “thanks Captain Obvious for pointing this out”. However the reason I’ve got my Captain Obvious pants on this morning is because THIS. STILL. HAPPENS.

Every morning on my way to work I listen to ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning, a sports radio show of which I am a huge fan of. Recently Mike Greenberg, one half of Mike & Mike, pointed out that when it comes to social media he tries to instruct his kids that “when you put anything online regardless of where you put it, whether it’s on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, on a blog or anywhere else, be prepared for that to be on the front page of the New York Times, and if you are not comfortable with it being on the front page of the New York Times don’t post it, because that is the world you live in right now”

So next time you think of updating your Facebook status explaining why the Judge got it all wrong, or if you decide to Tweet your 140 characters of displeasure towards the legal system, just imagine that you’re one of Mike’s children, and replace the New York Times with an Affidavit.

#keepitconfidential #thinkfirst

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Tuesday, 20 April 2021

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