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Cases involving online evidence have continued to increase at a rapid pace, aiding cases all the way from workplace harassment to copyright infringement. Digital evidence relevant to all these cases can come in a variety of forms; such as tweets, social media chat logs, instagram images, web pages, blog posts, Linkedin connections and a litany of others. But just like this evidence can make a case, it can also break the case.
Social Media as Federal Records Social media is heavily relied on by citizens and businesses for a wealth of information - from service updates, to employment information and changes in the law. It also benefits governments by helping them improve their service through a direct communication channel, making it possible to converse and discuss policies. With this heavy usage and two-way benefit, social media communications are considered official government publications to which the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) applies - a law that ensues government transparency and fair public access to records of interest.
"In 2003, California resident Vee Vinhnee filed for bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. He owed American Express more than $40,000 on his credit cards. American Express (Amex) sued Vinhnee to recover the balances owed on the cards. In Vinhnee vs. American Express Travel Related Services Company Inc., Vinhnee won his case without a lawyer and without appearing in court" .