The step-mother of one of two girls recently charged with bullying a 12-year-old girl immediately before she committed suicide has been arrested and charged with child abuse related charges. According to a report by Time, the woman was arrested shortly after a video was posted on Facebook that showed her physically abusing two boys in her home.
It is not unheard of for people to confess to crimes on social media, thinking that their posts are private and cannot be seen by law enforcement. However, this is simply not the case. This is just one case of many in which videos or posts on Facebook have been used by police and prosecutors to charge people with crimes.
Privacy Concerns in Social Media Postings
As social media becomes more and more prevalent in today’s society, the law must deal with the abundance of potential “evidence” that can be found on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Almost all social media sites provide a means for users to select certain privacy settings, restricting who can see their posts and personal information. However, this does not necessarily shield the information from the prying eyes of neighbors or law enforcement officials.
Generally, posts marked as private can only be seen by the audience the user selects. In some cases, a user can select different groups to share certain posts with, i.e., school, work, bowling league, etc. In fact, it is probably a good idea to make sure that the whole world is not able to see your every thought and post. However, even if a user selects the strictest of privacy settings, there are ways for the information to get into the hands of countless unknown people.
For example, suppose a user grants access to a certain individual and that person shares the information in the post with the police. The police, upon verifying the information, can likely use that information against the user to obtain a warrant.
Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy
Protecting your personal information in this digital age is paramount. The best thing to do—and only way to ensure total privacy—is to not post anything that could be considered incriminating. The next best thing is to ensure that you completely trust those with whom you share your posts. Remember, if anyone shares a post, or re-tweets one of your posts, you may be broadcasting you own personal thoughts, information, or misdeeds to the entire world, without any ability to retract it at a later point in time.
Has Your Privacy Been Violated?
If you have recently been charged with a crime based on evidence seized from an online source, you need to do all that you can to ensure that the evidence is kept out of trial and away from the jury. Oftentimes, criminal charges are dropped after a judge declares that certain evidence is not admissible in trial.
As an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense firm, the Forbess Law Firm has litigated and won several cases based on the suppression of evidence. If you are in need of an experienced North Florida criminal defense attorney, contact the Forbess Law Firm today by calling 904-364-0900 or click here.
See More Blog Posts:
Melbourne Police Lockdown Florida Mall In Pursuit of Reckless Drivers; Arrest Non-Involved Owner On Capias, Jacksonville Criminal Attorney Blog, October 22, 2013.
Convicted Murderer Possibly Suffers From New Lethal Injection Concoction, Jacksonville Criminal Attorney Blog, October 24, 2013.