Electronic Discovery Law
Discovery of Social Networking Sites
By: Martha Dawson, Michael Goodfried, K&L Gates
This article appeared in DRI’s E-Discovery Connection, Volume 5 Issue 3, on December 23, 2010
Consider how you, or someone you know, uses social networking sites; and consider how valuable this could be in litigation.
• “Check out the photos from my climb of Mt. Rainier. It rocked! I guess my back injury wasn’t that bad after all.”
• I can’t believe what my boss just did.”
• “My kids are driving me crazy. Anyone want to borrow them for the night?”
Are Social Networking Sites Discoverable?
Social networking sites are internet sites on which individuals or companies can create profiles about themselves and share information with others. Users can update their status, type blog entries, post pictures or videos, send email or instant messages, or post comments on the profiles of their contacts, among many other offerings. One of the most important aspects of social networking sites is the ability to link up with other users as “friends” or “contacts,” and decide with whom to share information. Users can control their privacy settings and choose which information to make publically available, share with their contacts, share with their contacts’ contacts (friends of friends), or show only to certain individuals. Some of the most popular social networking sites are Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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