December 18, 2013 Articles

Spoliation and Facebook: Don’t Toss that "Page" During Litigation

One thing is clear: Courts will not countenance deletion or deactivation of a Facebook page

By Ben Stone

It has been almost 10 years since people first heard the word “Facebook.” Since then, Facebook has helped transform not only the way we communicate but also our culture. Not surprisingly, then, Facebook has transformed the way lawyers litigate cases. Demanding copies of, or access to, an adversary’s Facebook page has become commonplace. Copies of Facebook pages are commonly sought in personal injury, employment discrimination, and other cases where the existence and causation of physical and emotional injuries are at issue. Whether photos and posts on a Facebook page actually have an impact on a jury is an open question. But as two recent cases confirm, one thing is clear: Courts will not countenance deletion or deactivation of a Facebook page.

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