FRE 902(14) and Social Media Investigations Explained

Information and TechnologyFRE 902(14) and Social Media Investigations Explained

Social media proof is a vital component of numerous cases. Nowadays social media bears a vital influence on trials from Instagram posts to innocent tweets. As such, law firms often turn to social media analysis units. These specialists assist to discover the beneficial proof. This proof can be priceless during negotiation and litigation. 

Many law firms specialized in IT law, help clients gather social media proof for their cases. This involves knowledge, time, and significant experience of the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE). One of these regulations is FRE 902(14). FRE 902(14) applies, especially to social media and internet evidence. 

FRE 902(14) Explained

FRE 902(14) specifies regulations for digital data recovered by electronic identification. Any digital data introduced as proof must be self-authenticating meaning that the affidavit of a technical specialist should not be required if the proof is maintained and demonstrated appropriately. Rather, the courts accept the authentication of social media proof by electronic identification. 

In general, FRE 902(14) permits the self-authentication of social media proof if all three factors are present:

  • Duplicates received via an electronic identification procedure
  • A skilled person presents a written certificate about the electronic identification procedure
  • Proper notice of use delivered to the opponent

The Federal Rules of Evidence are clear. FRE 902(14) delivers precise and specific measures to decide the admissibility of social media evidence. Failure to collect social media evidence accurately may harm your lawsuit. If not correctly authenticated, the courts may find your proof unacceptable. 

Are There Any Limitations to FRE 902(14)?

FRE 902(14) does contain restrictions. It does not address the precision, relevancy, or ownership of social media proof. It also does not confound objections based on hearsay. It cannot verify the substance written on the webpage, simply that the webpage is what it says it is. For example, a written certificate may designate a social media post as the defendant’s post. But, it cannot verify that the post is correct or valid. These restrictions, nonetheless, can be addressed with a detailed analysis done by a specialist investigator.

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