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Analyzing the Role of Social Media in Modern Legal Proceedings

Introduction : Social media has radically changed how we interact and exchange information in the digital age and has become an essential part of our everyday lives. Social media platforms have had an enormous influence on a variety of professional fields, including the legal industry, in addition to its social ramifications. The purpose of this essay is to examine the changing place of social media in contemporary legal procedures and the difficulties it poses for the judicial system.

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have developed into vast collections of individualised data and viewpoints. As a result, they have grown to constitute a wealth of prospective evidence in court proceedings. Nowadays, lawyers and detectives often search social media sites for information pertinent to their cases. This covers articles, remarks, images, videos, and even private communications that might reveal details about someone’s relationships, activities, or mental health. Family law cases, civil disputes, and criminal investigations can all be significantly impacted by such information.
The Challenges of Authenticity and Reliability : 
Even if social media evidence has value, it can be difficult to get it admitted in court. It’s critical to confirm the trustworthiness and validity of social media posts. The capacity to remove or amend posts, fake accounts, and manipulated material provide obstacles to the admissibility of such evidence. Lawyers must show that the evidence is really related to the subject and hasn’t been tampered with. In-depth research is necessary, and social media companies must cooperate by supplying metadata and other pertinent data.
Privacy and Ethical Considerations : 
The influence of social media on court procedures also brings up ethical and privacy issues. Even on open platforms, people have a fair expectation of privacy surrounding their online actions. For lawyers, it becomes a difficult duty to strike a balance between the pursuit of justice and the right to privacy. Social media evidence’s relevancy and probative value must be carefully weighed by courts against any possible invasion of privacy. Additionally, when gathering, presenting, and contesting social media evidence, attorneys and investigators must follow ethical rules.

Social media may both help and hurt a case, depending on the circumstances. Poorly thought-out posts, incriminating images, or divisive viewpoints can spread quickly and widely, harming a person’s credibility or reputation. Nowadays, attorneys admonish their clients from accessing social media while in court. Additionally, social media debates may have an impact on juries and judges; therefore, they must be careful to prevent bias or prejudging based on online information.
The influence of social media on contemporary judicial procedures cannot be overstated. It has become a potent instrument for gathering data, constructing stories, and even influencing judicial outcomes. Its function is not without difficulties, though. Authenticity, dependability, privacy issues, and ethical issues provide challenges that must be carefully avoided. To ensure fair and reasonable outcomes as social media continues to develop, the legal system must change. To fully utilise social media’s potential while obeying the rules of justice, legal practitioners must keep up with its trends, best practises, and standards.
The use of social media in court cases is a topic of constant discussion in the digital age. The manner in which evidence is gathered, presented, and assessed is nevertheless shaped by its effects. Legal practitioners must be watchful and adaptive in their pursuit of truth and justice in an increasingly linked world as social media platforms change and new obstacles appear.
Author: Shruti Gala
Edited By: Apoorva Mehta

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