Information From Social Media Information, And What Discovery Limitations Do Courts Place Upon This Information?

1463 Words Jun 10th, 2015 6 Pages
ISSUE
I. How can a party use discovery to obtain social media information, and what discovery limitations do courts place upon this information?
II. How can a party authenticate social media information in court?
BRIEF ANSWER
I. The best method to obtain social media information is to use production requests and allow the opposing party to provide the information.
II. Parties can authenticate social media information by following the traditional framework for authentication and by using other discovery tools to prove the genuine nature of the information.
DICUSSION
I. Discovery
Information from social media is generally discoverable and attorneys can best obtain it through traditional discovery means such as requests for production. Courts have found that information from social media is not entitled to any sort of special privacy protection and so parties can obtain it via discovery in civil lawsuits. See Tompkins v. Detroit Metro. Airport, 278 F.R.D. 387, 388-89 (E.D. Mich. 2012). Instead of following any new or different rules, social media information tends to follow traditional discovery principles. Think of social media information a similar to a set of files in an office. Id. One of the main issues in the area is how to actually go about obtaining the information. There are three main methods that exist to gather this information with varying degrees of acceptance by courts. These methods are: 1) subpoenaing the social media company for the information, 2) using…
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