Social Profile Ownership, Freedom of Speech, and eDiscovery

     

Back in May of this year, Hanzo posted a <a title="Tweets In Court &amp; Social Media Archiving" href="http://www.hanzoarchives.com/tweets-in-court-social-media-archiving/">blog</a> on a case in which <a href="https://www.nycourtsystem.com//Applications/JudicialDirectory/Bio.php?ID=7030080">Judge Matthew Sciarrino, Jr.</a> ruled a defendant's tweets could be used court.

Then <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/a-facebook-court-battle-is-liking-something-protected-free-speech/2012/08/08/538314fe-e179-11e1-ae7f-d2a13e249eb2_story.html">Facebook "likes"</a> took center stage in a court decision regarding freedom of speech as it relates to social media content.

Now Business 2 Community has posted a <a href="http://www.business2community.com/social-media/a-legal-perspective-who-owns-social-media-profiles-0264523">write-up</a> that questions the ownership of business social media profiles.

I wonder if those who launched the social media revolution thought about the legal repercussions their new forms of communication would ignite.

With a background in eDiscovery, I've certainly seen the litigious landscape change rapidly. New court rulings, use cases, and compliance stipulations regarding published web content, many companies and those in the legal profession have been taken off guard.

Take the Facebook export tool. Is it right for high-stakes litigation? PDFs of Facebook profiles don't tell the whole picture, which goes against what the courts increasingly want. Just like native Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc., native format archives capture the seen and unseen. They allow judges and litigators to browse back through conversations, follow link strings, and get to the heart of the evidence.

It's funny to think there was once a time when emails weren't used, or even considered of any value, in a case. Now you'd be hard pressed to find a stack of case evidence excluding them.

New communication media spurs new eDiscovery challenges. Accepting and preparing for the inevitable are the wisest steps toward navigating what's next.

For more information on using native format web and socail media archives in eDiscovery:

[button]<a title="Web Archiving For eDiscovery White Paper" href="http://www.hanzoarchives.com/resources/web-archiving-for-ediscovery-white-paper/">Download Hanzo's EDiscovery White Paper</a>[/button]

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