The whole idea of social media sites like Facebook is to create a reflection of your real life online and display it to your friends. However, your friends aren’t necessarily the only ones who can observe your lifestyle and behavior. One woman found that out the hard way this week when her Facebook profile was used as evidence against her in a custody battle.
The man in the case, Anthony DiMartino, argued that his estranged wife’s Facebook page would show that she was frequently out of the country while he was responsible for raising their four-year-old child by himself. But the mother, Christina Antoine, said that her profile information is private, and that she unfriended her husband when they split. There wasn’t a precedent for Facebook being used as evidence in cases like this, so Antoine thought she was in the clear. However, in what could prove to be a landmark ruling, the court agreed with DiMartino and ordered Antoine to turn over her Facebook log in information by September 14.
“I think that as they begin to understand what a treasure trove of data there is, and as they begin to understand the technology behind it . . . it gets treated like any other evidence assuming it’s reliable,” lawyer Michael Stutman told the New York Post.
It’s sad but true: even seemingly innocuous Facebook posts – like pictures of where you’ve traveled – can come back to haunt you. To best protect yourself, be careful what you post on the site in the first place. Even if you set your privacy settings appropriately, a judge’s order could force you to reveal information you once thought private.