Social Media Posts Being Used in Court
Former President Donald Trump shared a threatening message online. Hence, the prosecutors in his trial asked for limits on what he can publicly say about his case.
They feared that Mr. Trump might disclose confidential proof. The filing cited a post from the former president saying the post targeted people related to the case.
On his Truth social network, he posted: “If you go after me, I’m coming after you!”
He had also taken to Truth Social to go after the judge overseeing the case brought against him.
He also reposted a tweet from a Republican Mike Davis on the Truth Social account that shows a photo of Judge Tanya Chutkan. He claimed that the judge admitted she is running election interference against Trump.
Trump violated his pretrial release conditions in his case in DC.
Impact of Social Media Posts in Courtroom Proceedings
Social media posts, including those made by public figures like Donald Trump, can potentially be used as evidence in court under certain circumstances. However, whether a post can be used in court and how much weight it carries as evidence will vary depending on a lot of factors.
The authenticity of the post must be established to ensure that it was indeed posted by the person who claimed to have posted it. This might involve proving that the account belongs to the individual in question and that the post was not manipulated or fabricated.
The content of the post must also be relevant to the case at hand. According to an attorney, sharing a public rant may not always be problematic. But such a post can be discoverable. Your rant can either hurt or help your case.
Many courts are more than willing to use social media content as a form of evidence for and against you. Then again, prosecutors and defendants must still meet the rules of evidence for admissibility in the specific jurisdiction and court where the case is being heard.
Courts might treat public statements differently from private ones. Public figures, like Donald Trump, may have a reduced expectation of privacy for their public statements.
Hearsay rules could come into play if a post is being offered t prove the truth of the matter stated in the post. Hearsay is generally considered an out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. It might not be admissible unless an exception applies.
The context of the post also matters. Courts may consider the broader context of the post, the timing, the intended audience, and any subsequent actions or statements by the individual.
Social media posts could potentially be used to impeach a person’s character or credibility if the posts are inconsistent with their claims or testimony.
Deleting social media content is also not a wise decision. A court may find it a negative interference. And such action will be used against you because you destroy relevant evidence.
That’s why it is always wise not to overshare.