November is Social Media Law Resources Month at the Harris County Law Library. As the week wraps up, here are a few of the social media stories making news this week.
The use of social media as evidence in divorce cases has increased dramatically over the last three to five years. Lawyers introduce text messages and social media posts into almost all of their hearings and trials. How and what a person communicates via social media can reveal a lot about a person's character and may also offer clues about one's finances or hidden assets. Christine Leatherberry, a family lawyer in Dallas who is quoted in the article, advises her clients to expect that anything shared via email or posted on a social network will be blown up on a poster board and displayed in a courtroom.
According to a recent survey of lobbyists, lawyers, think tank leaders, and other advocacy groups, social media is the fastest-growing communications channel for influencing the political process. Those who aim to persuade policy makers understand the importance of social networks and the power of public opinion. They are increasing their allocation of funds to engage with social media on a larger scale.
Ballot box selfies are prohibited in 18 states, but challenges to the law have been advanced in Colorado, Michigan, and New York just days before voters head to the polls. Opponents of laws that permit election-day selfies say that photographs taken at the polls compromise the integrity of the election. Supporters dispute this claim, saying that no evidence of voter intimidation exists. Muddled laws in several states are sure to create confusion as voters test the limits of what is prohibited and what is actually enforced.