When most people hear “social media,” they immediately think of websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. However, the term “social media” also refers to blogs, business networks, collaborative projects, forums, the sharing of images and videos, the rating of products, and social gaming. Social media and technology evidence needs to be explained to judges and juries by people who know what they are talking about.
The proliferation of social media websites and mobile apps has coincided with an increase in the potential legal ramifications that might follow from behavior carried out online. This could have both positive and negative implications for users. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and many others, often include evidence relevant to a wide variety of legal issues, or the sites themselves are the principal subject of a complaint about one of these instances.
Social Media Expert Witnesses: What Can They Do?
Social media expert witnesses use social networking, texting, and video-sharing platforms to collect evidence for their investigations. They also collect information to determine the exact starting and stopping times for forbidden behavior. In addition to providing expert witness testimony on social media and publishing expert reports on social media patents, architectures, and security, social media experts explain in detail how social technologies work, how they are used, and what is conceivable and what is not practical in the realm of social media. Moreover, they judge the other expert witnesses’ credibility to ensure that their arguments are as strong and convincing as possible.
Acceptance of Social Media Evidence
Because of the one-of-a-kind nature of social media and the simplicity with which it may be manipulated, it is more difficult to accept than other evidence. It is important to assess whether or not evidence connected to social media may be admitted before keeping, collecting, or making it. Counsel ought to think about how they will authenticate a tweet, a post on Facebook, or a photograph, such as by presenting a witness who has personal knowledge of the information (they wrote it, received it, or copied it), searching the computer to determine if it was used to post or create the information, or attempting to obtain the information in question from the sources that were previously mentioned. Documentation must be kept at each step of the collection and production processes, and legal professionals must consider how they would verify the authenticity of a picture.
Social Media Expert Witness Credentials
In most situations, the courts need the testimony of experts. Expert witnesses could testify for either the plaintiff or the defendant to show that the standards and procedures of their fields were followed.
Disputes in business often include social media, a relatively young sector. Experts in social media are important for a business if it needs to show that it used social media to market honestly. As a result, those who work in marketing and development for social media may be questioned concerning social media cases. Therefore, the social media expert witnesses must be in possession of the relevant credentials required to successfully carry out their duties.
- Experts in social media must demonstrate their knowledge. Social media expert testimony is often required in matters involving internet defamation, trademark infringement, misleading advertising, copyright infringement, and fraud. A social media expert witness must have the expertise and experience to examine these situations to show a defendant’s innocence. A social media expert may be asked to testify in court if he or she has written academic papers or books on these topics or is an expert in these fields.
- It doesn’t matter if you’re the world’s greatest social media specialist if you can’t testify in a high-profile court case without crying. For a social media expert witness to convince the jury that he or she is an expert, he or she must talk in a clear, authoritative way.
- Using jargon or acronyms that only internet professionals understand will not endear an expert witness. The expert should be approachable and deliver basic, direct answers without looking condescending. Breaking down complex testimony allows the jury to understand and believe the expert, increasing your chances of acquittal on social media charges.
Getting a social media expert witness willing to testify on your organization’s behalf could be challenging. Make sure that your expert has the necessary expertise, self-assurance, and capacity to interact with individuals who can assist you in winning your case.