Thursday, September 30, 2010

The POST Cemetery

Last week, a New York state judge has ruled that a woman's deleted postings on Facebook and MySpace must be turned over to a company fighting allegations that she suffered “permanent injuries” that have prevented her from living an active lifestyle. It was said that since the said postings may contradict claims she made about the injuries she sustained, they are fair game under New York's discovery procedures. It appears that plaintiff's public profile page on Facebook shows her smiling happily in a photograph outside the confines of her home despite her claim that she has sustained permanent injuries and is largely confined to her house and bed. (Source:

It turns out that removed and deleted online information may persist in backup copies for up to a certain period. Hence, no matter how a site appears to be secure and private, one should take extreme caution in posting stuff. Privacy settings and security measures could not guarantee that the contents of the posts would be protected. There is always a possibility that unauthorized persons could gain access to it. Moreover, deleting could not undo what you have posted. It would be like erasing pencil marks, it would leave traces. Or it would be like burying corpses in the graveyard. You’ll never know, someday, somebody might be able to exhume the skeletons you tried to conceal.

The moral lesson: If you are planning to lie, better make sure you check against inconsistencies you might make. Better yet, if you’re planning to commit perjury in the future, do not post the truth in the internet. Or the ghosts of your posts might haunt you and land you to jail.

--Gen S. (13)

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