In the recent case of Neyman v. Wouterse 2013 BCSC 741, the Plaintiff alleged that she suffered from a driving phobia as a result of a 2007 rear-end collision.
In coming to his decision, Mr. Justice Walker of the BC Supreme Court relied in part on social media, specifically the Plaintiff’s Facebook postings, to reach the conclusion that she was not a credible witness. Among other things, the Plaintiff had commented on Facebook in January 2009 about driving her mother’s manual transmission BMW late at night and at high speed. The posting was as follows:
[*The Plaintiff] is finally remembering how awesome it is to drive 120 clicks on a clear road in her car (A ♥’s Speedy G).
The Plaintiff was confronted with this posting on cross examination following which Mr. Justice Walker concluded that the Plaintiff had “a mindset that continues to be heavily focused on the accident as the cause of every problem or difficulty she has faced since. Once the Facebook entry was put to her, [The Plaintiff] denied suffering any phobia to driving that involved driving very fast, late at night, and in the dark with a sore knee. I also found [The Plaintiff’s] attitude towards defence counsel during the exchange to have been inappropriately condescending.”
He went on to reject the Plaintiff’s submission that the postings should be characterized as “youthful boasting” and found that the postings accurately reflected her mindset when they were made.
Comments made on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are often easily found with a simple online search engine. One should always be aware of the public nature of social media and the fact that, once it has been posted online, a comment or photo can never be truly erased and may be open to scrutiny by the Courts.