Social Media: Careful – Your Adversary is Snooping

by Pamela A. Lee, Esquire, of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP


Social media is a treasure trove of information in litigation. What types of things do you post or comment on or “like”?  You may be thinking “no worries, I’m not involved in any type of litigation.”

But then, BAM!…something happens.  Now every picture you’ve posted, every page you’ve “liked,” and every post you have written or commented on within the past 6 years is being demanded by an attorney representing your ex-spouse…your employer or former employee…a business competitor … the inattentive driver who rear-ended you ….or the physician who misdiagnosed you.

The law is clear that there is no right of privacy in one’s social media posts.  Those posts can be copied and disseminated by any “friend” who lawfully has access to it.   In fact, every social network site has a Privacy Policy that cautions its users that information may be disclosed to third parties.

Does this mean that an “adversary” can access your pictures from your trip to Miami last year or your family barbecue last month?  The answer depends on (a) the type of litigation; (b) whether you are a plaintiff or defendant; (c) your claims and/or defenses; (d) who is trying to get access; and (e) the type of information being demanded.

If your social networking pages are open to the public, you must assume that everything you’ve ever posted will be seen by an adversary, a judge and a jury.  Even if your social networking pages are not open to the public, there is a possibility that everything you’ve ever posted may be seen by an adversary, a judge and a jury.

In Pennsylvania, most courts require a threshold showing that the information sought is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.  While most courts will not permit unfettered rummaging through a social network page, if your social media accounts contain relevant information, most courts will permit your adversary to obtain at least some information from those accounts.

It is important to discuss with your attorney all forms of social media in which you engage and the information you post-before your Facebook profile page becomes Exhibit “A”.


Contact the Law Firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP

At the Law Firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP, we have more than 60 years of combined legal experience. To learn how we can help protect your legal rights, contact Pamela A. Lee, Esquire at 610-565-5700 or send us an e-mail.

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