People share a lot of details about their lives on their social media accounts, including their whereabouts, beliefs and preferences. All of these and more can resurface in court to undermine a person’s criminal case. Because of this, many people delete their accounts or make them private during proceedings.
Forbes encourages people who are facing any kind of court case to think twice about what they post online. The simplest details may become incriminating later, even if the person did not mean what he or she posted. Contrary to popular belief, posts shared publicly online may count as legally obtained evidence in court.
Law enforcement encourages officers to learn social media
Vista College reports that police departments now want more officers who understand social media and how it works. Because of this, many officers work hard to add this skill to their toolboxes. The college believes that this may contribute to social media becoming one of the main tools for solving crimes in the near future.
Investigators may seek subpoenas for online information
Social media platforms have made the news several times for refusing to turn over the account information of users suspected of crimes. The platforms cited their privacy policies as their reasons for reluctance. However, once investigators subpoena the records or get a warrant, the companies may have no option but to comply.
Once something is online, the person who posted it will probably never be able to permanently delete it. In fact, social media platforms often have the capability to retrieve deleted data and provide it to the authorities.