Thanks to the show-and-tell culture of social media the acronym TMI has lost much of its power. Now a large chunk of the population is offering excessive amounts of private information online, and often on a minute-to-minute basis. Citizens of the online world have taken secret sharing to whole new levels, and so much so one can be forgiven for hoping that KTY (“Keep it to yourself”) catches on in 2012.
Tattoo artist/reality star Kat Von D took to her Facebook page earlier this week to spill the beans on her failed relationship with love rat Jesse James. The impetus for Von D’s public disclosure: she’d just been introduced to the 19th woman who claims to have bedded James while he was with her.
Spilling the proverbial beans online, though tempting, may not be such a wise idea, especially if you’re going through a separation or divorce. As a recent post on the Globe and Mail site reveals, social media pages— from Facebook to online dating profiles—are starting to serve as evidence in divorce cases.
But it’s not just information from a person’s public profile that’s showing up in court. Private messages exchanged behind the wall are now considered up for grabs.
The Globe’s Tralee Pearce cites a recent divorce case in Connecticut (via Forbes.com) in which a judge ordered Stephen and Courtney Gallion to surrender their Facebook and dating profile passwords so that their private posts and exchanges may be mined for information that could ultimately affect the outcome of their parting–it may even influence custody of their children.
The ruling may have more than a few people reconsidering the security of private messages sent back and forth, especially ones written in anger and in the midst of separation and divorce. Some might even questioning the value of maintaining an online presence altogether.
Stephen Gallion’s divorce lawyer, Gary Traystman shared his perspective on the limited privacy afforded by social media with Forbes magazine writer Kashmir Hill.
Said Traystman: “I see the information people can get from computers, in lawsuits and through hacking. They scare the hell out of me.”
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