Social Media Comments Can Be Used in Court

jailIf you’re a parent, especially of a teen, you probably don’t need any more reasons to worry about what your kids are posting on social media.

If you are looking for more ammunition for when you have the periodic talk with your teen about responsibly watching what she is posting, keep the following in mind:

  • Social media posts are admissible in court
  • The National Security Agency (NSA) could be monitoring your communications

In two recent California cases, not only were social media posts used in criminal cases, but also in both instances they were used to charge the accused with a more serious offense.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

“A teenage driver originally accused of vehicular manslaughter now faces a murder charge in the death of a bicyclist, partly because prosecutors say he bragged on Twitter about driving dangerously.”


“In San Francisco, a cyclist in March fatally struck a 71-year-old pedestrian in a crosswalk after speeding through three red lights in the Castro District. Chris Bucchere, who eventually pleaded guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter, received a stiffer charge after he posted his explanation of the crash on a cycling group’s website.”

Now I know your teen has never committed a crime, but lots of stuff gets looked into, people get accused of something they didn’t do or make a mistake – it’s preferable to not leave a permanent record.

As if that’s not enough, consider that according to recent press, the NSA has open access to 75% of internet traffic. Does your son really want them knowing how much he drank at that party Saturday night?

With the rise in internet communications, and the increase in webcams strategically posted in public places, what you say and where you go are becoming more and more public. Not so for the spoken word. Your words hang in the air for a few seconds then are gone forever. The best course of action is to say what you’re thinking and avoid creating a permanent (public) record on the internet.


Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.

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