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An Analysis of Facebook 'Likes' and Other Nonverbal Internet Communication Under the Federal Rules of Evidence

26 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2013 Last revised: 4 Feb 2014

Molly D. McPartland

University of Iowa - College of Law

Date Written: April 26, 2013

Abstract

Social Media is an important part of our lives. New ways to communicate using social media are constantly emerging, and the influence of social media on our culture and in our courtrooms is bound to increase. Aside from the Virginia District Court's blunder in Bland v. Roberts — holding that a Facebook ‘like’ is not protected by the First Amendment — courts have yet to deal with nonverbal social media content such as Facebook 'likes.' This Note explains why courts should apply the existing Federal Rules of Evidence excluding hearsay and allowing adoptive admissions to Facebook 'likes' and other nonverbal social media content. This Note argues against reforming the Federal Rules as parties increasingly use nonverbal social media content in the courtroom.

Keywords: evidence, hearsay, nonverbal, adoptive admission, tacit, Facebook, like, Bland v. Roberts, social media

JEL Classification: K41

Suggested Citation

McPartland, Molly D., An Analysis of Facebook 'Likes' and Other Nonverbal Internet Communication Under the Federal Rules of Evidence (April 26, 2013). Iowa Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2256936

Molly D. McPartland (Contact Author)

University of Iowa - College of Law ( email )

Melrose and Byington
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

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