The advent of social networking has allowed us to keep in touch with one-another, update our friends on the happenings of our lives and use personal pages as a repository for the pictures that chronicle our lives. Websites such as MySpace, Twitter and Facebook have added an ease of communication to our daily lives, but this ease may come at a price for some.
When involved in a lawsuit, divorce, custody dispute or just providing information about “illicit” acts, these websites may and will be used against us, sometimes in a court of law. Social networking websites may provide a treasure-trove of information to opposing attorneys in family court disputes, provide contradictory information about the extent of injuries in personal injury lawsuits, or inadvertently provide information as to our location when we don’t want to be found.
Which is exactly what happened for one fugitive.
Parolee Found Because of Facebook
After being on the lam for 12 years, a parolee was caught due to the divulgence of his location in a Facebook post after complaining about the weather in Montana, according to the Missoulian. Whether thinking he was safe or it was an innocuous act, the posting of his location was discovered by the authorities in California. They relayed the information onto authorities in Montana who caught up with the parolee in a casino. He now awaits extradition to California to face the consequences of violating his parole.
There are a whole host of beneficial reasons for celebrating social networks’ abilities to make the world smaller. However, as in the case of the parolee, the world may be too small at times. As a cautionary tale, we should all learn that even though what we say on social networking is thought to be private – regardless of the settings of your profile – this isn’t always the case. What you say and post can and will be used against you, and, sometimes, to find you.
Sources: Facebook Status Updates Lead to Arrest; Found on Facebook: California fugitive working harvests on Hi-Line arrested