January 10, 2020 Privacy

“Hey, Google, What Did I Search for Last Year?”

The failure to understand and make use of social media contextualization has been aided and abetted by e-discovery software weaknesses.

William F. Hamilton

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Social media discovery is burdened by the myth of the “killer photo.”

Good social media discovery is supposed to find the equivalent of the selfie posted by an allegedly crippled personal injury victim gleefully skiing downhill at Aspen. This mythological quest for a single killer photo reduces social media discovery to a few random screenshots. Social media discovery, however, is best understood as the full panoply of posted pictures, comments, messages, likes, friends, posts, and other information. Social media artifacts are often the connective tissue of the litigation story. Seemingly disparate, innocuous, random comments in workplace emails suddenly take on a clear meaning when placed in the context of vile, discriminatory social media posts.

The failure to understand and make use of social media contextualization has been aided and abetted by e-discovery software weaknesses. Like other electronically stored information, social media data must be collected and then processed. Both steps are fraught with problems.

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