Can My Facebook Page Hurt My Claim in Ontario? A Guide to Facebook’s Updated Privacy Settings

The use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites has increased dramatically over the past few years. In response, injured victims involved in a claim or lawsuit should be more aware than ever that what they post could have a major impact on the case and final settlement.

Recently, Facebook has made changes to how they organize your privacy settings. Most of the changes are great, as they allow you to choose the privacy settings for each post you make. Unfortunately, if you don’t know about the changes you might accidentally be over-sharing.

Here’s what you need to know:

1) Each post has individual privacy settings

You may have one general privacy setting, but make sure your posts are following suit. When you post information, you have the option to set the privacy settings for that individual post. Double-check each time to make sure you aren’t allowing the whole world to view your content. To retroactively set all your information to Friends Only, click here.

2) Whoever posts the content owns the content

On Facebook, the person who posts the content owns the content, and this goes for privacy settings too. So, for example, if you were tagged in a picture, and didn’t like it, untagging yourself is not enough. In the same vein, when someone posts a picture of you and it shows up on your wall, hiding it from your wall is not enough. The privacy settings for that photo are in someone else’s hands. If you don’t want it online, you must ask your friend to remove it, and if that doesn’t work you can report it. This may seem extreme, but it’s important not to get blindsided. A photo of you does not mean you own the privacy.

3) Nothing online is private

Even if you only share something among friends, you never know who they are sharing it with. It’s so easy for someone to download a photo from Facebook and share it elsewhere. Don’t post anything online you aren’t comfortable showing to the world.

Don’t let your online accounts turn your case upside down. As a general rule, never post anything about your claim; keep your privacy settings to only friends; and never friend anyone you don’t know. When in doubt, avoid posting anything you aren’t 100% comfortable showing your opposing lawyers.

Get up to date on social media and claims by reading our previous posts Protecting your Lawsuit from Facebook in 5 Easy Steps and Facebook Evidence Causes Judge to Rethink Lawsuit.

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