Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

It's Smart to Think before Posting Online

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

It's Smart to Think before Posting Online

Article excerpt

Byline: Trent Johnson and Michael Coates

SO YOU made a frivolous post on social media one night, not thinking beyond the moment and never realising it could one day be used in evidence in court against you, or cost you your job.

Increasingly, social media posts are being used as evidence in compensation and employment law matters because courts can and do order people to disclose the contents of their social media accounts.

People need to realise that so-called "security settings" on social media posts can mean nothing if lawsuits result.

A recent case before the Brisbane District Court where a woman was claiming against her former employer, illustrates the increasing reliance placed on social media posts as evidence.

Both the plaintiff and defendant's solicitors tendered evidence of Facebook posts made by a manager and the employee respectively.

It confirmed the view that anything people post on social media could come back to haunt them at a later time.

Social media also plays a role in employment law disputes, especially if employees post confidential workplace information on a social media forum or bad colleagues or the boss.

Someone uploading critical remarks about others on social media can also risk facing a defamation action.

A post on Facebook is deemed to be effectively publishing the remarks, whether the post is publicly visible or confined to a closed group.

Whatever is posted is vulnerable to being re-posted and shared by others.

In a recent court matter, the court found a plaintiff's evidence was considered unreliable because of exaggerations she had made in posts about her employment and lifestyle on her social media.

The court found she was lacking in credibility because of her false claims on social media.

If you're posting items about your life, make sure they are accurate. …

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