Editor Warns that a Person's Tweets Be Used Against Them in Court

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In a new video, Lawyers.com Editor in Chief Larry Bodine warns that there is no expectation of privacy in Twitter updates.

If Twitter.com gets a subpoena about one of your tweets, you can rest assured they will throw you under the bus – even if you deleted the Tweet.

In a new video, Lawyers.com Editor in Chief Larry Bodine warns that there is no expectation of privacy in Twitter updates.

"Anything you Tweet can and will be used against you in a court of law," said Larry Bodine, Editor in Chief of Lawyers.com. "Whatever you post on Twitter is the same as screaming it out the window – you have no expectation of privacy in your tweets."

Bodine's warning comes as Twitter caved in and handed over the protestor's tweets.

"You may think you own your tweets but Twitter says right in its privacy policy: 'we may preserve or disclose your information if we believe that it is reasonably necessary," Bodine says. "So if Twitter.com gets a subpoena about one of your tweets, you can rest assured they will throw you under the bus – even if you deleted the Tweet."

This is exactly what happened to Occupy Wall Street protestor Malcolm Harris, a Twitter user who is being prosecuted for trespassing during an Occupy Wall Street demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge last year.

Bodine warned, "Twitter may give out your computer IP address, meaning that the government can track where you have been. Finally, bear in mind that all tweets are archived at the Library of Congress and there are websites exist solely as databases of all public tweets."

The only way Twitter users can protect their tweets is if they set their privacy settings so that they select who gets to read them. "And that, of course, defeats the whole purpose of social media," Bodine said.

"So If you’ve tweeted when you shouldn’t have and there’s a court case being built against you, I recommend that you use Lawyers.com to find a social media or Internet lawyer in your area.

"Remember this advice from a judge: '“What you give to the public belongs to the public. What you keep to yourself belongs only to you,'" Bodine says.

Lawyers.com is the top online destination for legal news consumers can use. Bodine is an attorney who leads a team of 20 reporters and video producers to publish news stories, videos, infographics and polls about the law and how it affects ordinary Americans.

A service from LexisNexis®, Lawyers.com receives an average of more than 3 million visits each month. Readers can follow Bodine on Twitter with @larrybodine, by visiting Facebook® at http://www.facebook.com/lawyerscom or by downloading the Lawyers.com application for the iPhone®.

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