Facebook: Friend or Foe? It doesn’t matter but it certainly isn’t confidential!

The High Court in Northern Ireland have ruled on a claim by a defendant that his posting on his Facebook page was confidential as his site is restricted to communications to his friends only. He claimed that use of the document would constitute a breach of confidence.

In the case in question an Injunction had been obtained in order to stop the defendant dissipating his assets. Shortly after the hearing the defendant took it upon himself to post the following comment on his face book site:

“They thought they knocked me down, now they will see the full scale of my reaction. Screw* them, just Screw* them. They will be left with nothing”

NB * expletives removed and replaced.

These word were held to be relevant and properly to be disclosed to the judge hearing the main action of the case. Judge Horner commented:

I should say that anyone who uses Facebook does so at his or her peril. There is no guarantee that any comments posted to be viewed by friends will only be seen by those friends”

Word most likely that should be applied both inside and outside of the legal sphere.

Therefore be warned; anything posted on Facebook is not only admissible in Court but does not gain the protection of confidentiality even if you set the highest privacy settings.

Case: Martin & Ors v Gabriele Giambrone P/A Giambrone & Law [2013]