The information we post about ourselves online can often have an adverse effect on our lives. When looking to fill a position, employers have admitted to scanning Facebook profiles in order to get a better understanding of the person behind the CV, and you can bet that people will have missed out on jobs because of something silly they put in their ‘About’ section or due to some risqué photographs.
But a woman in San Francisco has had her legal claim thrown out as a result of the information posted on her Facebook profile. The unnamed woman had accused 23-year-old Anthony Dorton of forcing her into prostitution. She testified under oath the she was not a pimp and had never worked as a prostitute before moving to the Bay Area of SF. She also accused Dorton of assaulting her.
However, despite denying being a pimp or having had a history in prostitution, her Facebook profile spoke of her skills as a “pimptress”, and said that she double-majored in “Advanced Pimpin” and “Keeping hoes in LINE!!!”. The work information on her profile also said that she worked as a self-employed “head pimptress in charge”.
As well as this profile information, Dorton’s defence lawyer said the woman would often post updates and comments about managing prostitutes. All of these discrepancies, as well as other evidence, made her assault claim against Dorton untrustworthy in the eyes of the jurors.
Deputy Public Defender Qiana Washington (representing Dorton) said “The complaining witness was caught in lie after lie… This was a case that depended on her word, and she demonstrated it could not be trusted.”
In this case it would appear that a liar has been undone by not thinking about who might see her information on social networks. However, there are many innocent things that someone could put on their profile that might – when looked at superficially – cause problems if seen by the wrong person. So just think before you post.