People are often warned that what you post on the internet may stay on the internet long after you remove it. Once you allow access in to information, it has been distributed and even if you later delete the original source of information, often there remain other sources of access to that information. When it comes to issues in the legal context, the repercussions can be even more detrimental from putting information out on the internet, such as through social media or a blog.
Take a recent example: In Florida, a daughter ruined an $80,000 settlement agreement between her father, the former head of a preparatory school, and the school that he had filed a discrimination suit against, when she broke the confidentiality provision of the settlement agreement by informing her 1,200 Facebook followers that her parents had won the case and the school was officially paying for her vacation to Europe and could “SUCK IT”.
Posting something on social media can be particularly harmful during divorce proceedings. You might want to think about the repercussions before posting pictures of the wild party you had or informing everyone of how much you hate your spouse. With the immediacy of the internet, people may post things on the spur of the moment that they later regret. Also, if the court has warned against disparaging your spouse, then posting insults on Facebook or convincing your child to “de-friend” his parent can be damaging evidence. One example of a case involved a man who posted on the dating site match.com that he was single and childless while seeking full custody of his children.
Many people think that they are safe posting on a social media site such as Facebook or Twitter where only their “friends” or “followers” can see their information. An attorney may not friend someone or have someone else friend someone without fully disclosing who they are, but your privacy settings may allow a wider access than you think or somebody else on your “friend” or “follower” list may be more than willing to share the information you have posted.
Posting on social media can lead to trouble in other areas too, such as breaching a confidentiality agreement between two companies in business together, or violating an employment contract by releasing private information. So give it some thought before you post.