Some law firms rely upon screenshots of social media and online evidence to establish or defend their case, but two recent case decisions highlight why this could be a dangerous evidentiary practice.
In the first case, an educational organization was sued for alleged discriminatory messages. The plaintiff offered social media screenshots as evidence of conversations on Facebook that they believe showed discriminatory practices from that educational organization. In reviewing this evidence, the court held that social media messages could form the basis of a claim of discrimination. However, Facebook messages could be fabricated, and the only way to authenticate them is to access the metadata on Facebook. Because the plaintiff only had screenshot evidence and not the profile itself, the claim was denied.
In a second case, a bank was sued for allegedly misleading loan terms. Screenshots were offered of what the bank advertised online and on social media in order to prove the case. Again, the screenshots were insufficient as properly preserved metadata was needed to authenticate this online evidence.
These are just two of many cases that highlight why social media and online screenshots won’t cut it when it comes to prosecuting or defending your cases. You need to work with a trusted provider that knows how to collect, preserve, and authenticate social media and online evidence the right way every single time. You need to work with SMI Aware.
SMI Aware leverages its proprietary technology to make sure that evidence is collected, preserved, and authenticated in a compliant manner. SMI Aware’s team of independent social media investigation experts has been trained on how to create a chain of custody to make sure the social media and online evidence that you need to defend your case is done in a compliant manner that will be admissible in court.
Don’t let these mistakes happen to your law firm and your clients. Forget the screenshots. Work with a trusted provider that knows how to collect and preserve social media evidence correctly time and time again. That’s SMI Aware. Contact us today to learn how we can collect and preserve social media evidence that is authenticated in a compliant manner.