The Unclear Picture of Social Media Evidence

34 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2019 Last revised: 18 Feb 2020

See all articles by Lisa Silver

Lisa Silver

University of Calgary, Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 14, 2019


This article considers the unclear picture of social media evidence in the courtroom and offers a snapshot glimpse into the digitized world where modern trial narratives reside. This will be done by highlighting the dissonance between the social media form of evidence and our evidential rules. This disconnect between principle and evidence obscures the pristine categorization of evidential rules and principles causing us to question the position of social media in the evidential space of the courtroom. Instead of fashioning social media evidence into a manageable evidential category, we must be amenable to creating a unique approach to the introduction of social media evidence. The objective of this article is to challenge our learned knowledge of the evidential world so that we may create a new evidential language for application to social media evidence. This new approach will be truer to the purpose and objective of evidence rules and will provide much needed judicial oversight in determining its admissibility.

Keywords: evidence, social media, admissibility

Suggested Citation

Silver, Lisa, The Unclear Picture of Social Media Evidence (November 14, 2019). Manitoba Law Journal, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Lisa Silver (Contact Author)

University of Calgary, Faculty of Law ( email )

Murray Fraser Hall
2500 University Dr. N.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4

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