At this point in the history of social media, virtually everyone understands that what they say or do online can come back to haunt them. A shocking statistic was revealed this week by The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. They found that 81 percent of their members had used evidence from Facebook and other social networking sites.
The use of Facebook evidence in divorce hearings goes beyond just proving infidelity, though there’s plenty of that. According to a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, about one in five adult Facebook users use the site for flirting. Lawyers also peruse the site to provide evidence of anger issues, drug problems, or items that could prove useful to their case.
While it may be a sign of the times that everyone from the police to divorce attorneys is mining Facebook for evidence, there are simple steps every user can take to protect their information. Total Divorce, the group that illustrated the link between Facebook and divorce proceedings, recommends keeping your distance from Facebook if you’re going through a divorce. Don’t post all over Facebook about how bad your ex is, and try to keep your circle of friends separate as well. That angry message you dash off at 3 a.m. might just end up biting you in court.
Total Divorce released an interesting infographic this week about social media’s impact on infidelity. You’ll also find some common sense ways to protect yourself should you find yourself in the middle of a divorce.