Tiffany Parker’s trial started and ended with Facebook. On December 2, 2011, Parker fought with Sheniya Brown over Facebook messages regarding a mutual love interest. Later that night, Parker allegedly posted entries on her Facebook page containing content such as “bet tht [sic] bitch didnt [sic] think [I] was going to see her ass . . . bet she wont [sic] inbox me no more, #caughtthatbitch.” After the jury rejected Parker’s claim of self-defense and convicted her of second-degree assault, the sole basis for her appeal was that the prosecution failed to properly authenticate the Facebook entries as ones she had authored.
In addressing the issue, the Delaware Supreme Court noted that courts have applied two conflicting approaches regarding the authentication of social media evidence. Most courts apply a traditional authentication standard based on the assumption “that the risk of forgery exists with any evidence.” Other courts, however, impose a higher authentication bar based on forgery concerns unique to social media evidence. This Essay argues against the majority approach and in favor of a more stringent authentication standard for social media evidence.
* Associate Dean for Faculty Development & Associate Professor, University of South Carolina School of Law; Blog Editor, EvidenceProf Blog: http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/evidenceprof/.
** Student, University of South Carolina School of Law; J.D. expected, 2015.
. Parker v. State, 85 A.3d 682, 683 (Del. 2014).