Social Networks May Get You Into Legal Trouble

Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking tools such as MySpace, Tumblr, and so forth have made interaction on the web much easier. For a while generation of people, the web is a way to interact with friends, family and acquaintances. People can post pictures, make comments, make status updates, comment on each others “walls”.

Often these comments are made long before someone gets in trouble. But when they do get in trouble, police, investigators, and prosecutors will frequently search a for a person’s Facebook, MySpace, Tumblr, or Twitter account in order to determine whether there is any incriminating information posted on the account that can be used either to show that the person is a flight risk, or that the person is involved in criminal activity.

While it’s important to maintain appropriate privacy settings on one of these social networking accounts, it’s even more important not to post things to these websites that suggest criminal activity.

That’s because no matter how “secure” the privacy settings get, such material will be permanently held on the servers and computers of whatever social network site you use. Facebook, for instance, permits you to delete embarrassing material, but experts have shown that such material may not be permanently deleted from Facebook’s internal servers.

In addition, even though you have deleted this material, others may have saved those embarrassing (or worse) photos for use against you.

In addition, in North Carolina there are particular crimes – including Cyberstalking – that can be committed through use of social network services. For instance, if you repeatedly message, harass, or threaten someone through an electronic medium – like texting, emailing, Facebook, or twitter – you may be violating North Carolina’s cyberstalking statute.

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.