Deleting your Facebook account can be a crime if you are being investigated

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In case you didn’t know, conversations on social networks work as evidence before the law. In a nutshell, your accounts could be thoroughly scrutinized if you’re involved in any investigations. Because of this, Deleting Facebook can be a crime if you are being investigated for some legal issue.

In the year 2013, there was a lawsuit by a man named Frank Gatto against United Airlines in which the defendants they managed to win the lawsuit because the plaintiff deleted his Facebook account.

How was the Gatto vs. United Airlines dispute?

United Airlines

Gatto sued United Airlines for personal injuries that occurred while working, claiming that he was no longer able to perform certain activities. The company requested information from the plaintiff’s social media accounts and Frank did not provide his Facebook account information. Both parties fought over the Facebook account and, just before it was ordered surrendered, the plaintiff deactivated “accidentally” your account within the social network.

After this, the defendants requested sanctions against Frank Gatto for suppressing evidence. The court agreed that there was stripping, ensuring that this occurs when evidence is destroyed or significantly altered, or when a party does not “preserves property for someone else’s use as evidence”. Plaintiffs have a duty to preserve evidence that they know, or should know, will likely be asked of them during the legal process. The court may impose sanctions when either party fails to comply with this requirement.

The court stated that the plaintiff could not request the deletion of his account because in any scenario it involved the retention or destruction of important evidence. They also ensure that his duty was to preserve the Facebook account at the time it was deactivated and deleted. After providing a very thorough analysis of the issue, the court ultimately sanctioned the plaintiff for having suppressed vital evidence in the case.

delete facebook investigation

There is no point in deleting or deactivating your social network account if you are going through a legal process and one of the parties is demanding it. Without a doubt, this action make it clear that you are hiding some evidence capable of harming you. For this reason, deleting your Facebook account could be a crime if you find yourself involved in a legal investigation (although it will very much depend on the country you are in).

Source | Shawnetuma

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