Proper Facebook Etiquette

#2025 A writ to Facebook

Friday 16th March, 2012

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Dr. M.

Dear Dr. Hardey – I can now sue my Facebook ‘friends’ or the companies I ‘like’ without even leaving the site. Any advice on how to do this and not get unfriended?

From A.Lawyer (in the making) in reply to post #1023 three boyfriends…

People serve a writ to anyone these days. Have you heard the rumours in the States that Divorce Lawyers are serving ex-spouses via Facebook? True. But only in California so far.

People imagine that it’s only in the States that we are quick to sue, but we also deal with devious, (even quite dull) and corrupt stuff here in the UK too. That’s why there’s so many ‘no win, no fee’ advertisements on between Loose Women and Jeremy Kyle (our UK version of Jerry Springer Yank friends). That’s why you’re also seeing  No Fee: As Seen On TV posted to your Facebook page.

The answer to your question is, yes. In most cases the rights and wrongs are too hard to call. Of course it would be ridiculous to assume everyone you sue is going to stay your friend. But there are some desperate people out there.Through Facebook, I’ve met lots of interesting and genuine people who I won’t be suing, and lots of desperate and stupid people who I might be suing.

Mostly your friends will have a similar attitude: to you and are unlikely to want to get personally involved if you’re suing another friend. We are going to get to the stage when it will be normal to exchange a poke with someone you’re suing. Just don’t talk about the case. There was that incident with the Juror who Friended the defendant of a case she was involved with. Unsurprisingly this was thought to affect her ability to   do the job of an objective member of jury. The law always takes a case so personally don’t they? Perhaps Facebook will be our new crime fighting frontier.

No more pounding the streets for the local bobby. A new role for those who fail to pass the new fitness test perhaps (although police recruitment still take very seriously their fitness training)

My perception is that it is the lawyers who will win and make a mint whether you stay friends or unfriend.  And the quality of advocacy is only going to get more naff as we are still inexperienced with the nature of legal action related to digital stuff.

My take; you’ll get a shock when you choose to sue your first Facebook friend…

One Response to “#2025 A writ to Facebook”

  1. Mahsa says:

    Dear Dr. Hardey,

    I live in Iran. As you will know, it seems like some conflict between my country and Israel is likely, or at least possible. But today I came across this ‘peace’ page created by someone in Israel and aimed at us:
    How seriously should we/I take a campaign like this over Facebook? Can you make peace over Facebook when your governments are gearing up for war? Do you think it is spin, or is it genuine?

    Grateful for any thoughts you have.

    Greetings from Iran,


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