Popular social networking sites such as Facebook have been the focus of legal attention for issues of privacy, and for their increasing use as evidence against parties in legal matters. Many criminal defendants and parties to divorce proceedings have been considerate enough to record their misdeeds for posterity, and savvy prosecutors and divorce attorneys have been keen enough to try to use them.
One recent incident stands in stark contrast: using Facebook helped one New York teen to clear his name by corroborating a much needed alibi. Rodney Bradford, 19, was arrested as a suspect in a robbery case. The district attorney found his alibi – his parents claimed he was at home with them – dubious, up until Rodney’s attorney pointed out this Facebook status update made near the time of the robbery:
“Where’s my pancakes? Oct. 17, at 11:49 a.m.”
Charges were dropped after Facebook confirmed the status update was made from a computer located at Rodney’s father’s apartment.