Are Facebook Friends Really Your Friends? Court Case May Settle the Question.
This morning the Post-Dispatch reports that the ubiquitous Clayton attorney, Albert Watkins, is asking Facebook to turn over records involving several witnesses as well as the Illinois police officers investigating the fight.
Watkins is representing Bryan Pour, a former St. Louis police officer who says he was attacked while leaving the Granite City tavern Mac 'n Mick's Sports Bar & Grill in the early morning hours of November 2008. Pour reached for his revolver in his waistband and the gun discharged, striking a Granite City man.
Moments later, police from nearby Pontoon Beach, Illinois, arrived at the scene and shot another off-duty St. Louis cop who was part of a group of people that had accompanied Pour to wedding earlier that night.
|Know all these folks?|
"We believe law enforcement had pre-existing and subsequent relationships with material witnesses," Watkins tells the Post-Dispatch. "Our position is that someone charged with a crime has a right to subpoena exculpatory evidence."
It's an interesting polemic. Facebook accounts do provide tangible proof that you know -- or are "friends" -- with someone. But are Facebook "friends" really your friends?
Personally speaking, I know that half the people I've "friended" on Facebook I either haven't talked to in ten years or have never met in person. So, does proving that you know someone on Facebook also prove that you've conspired with that person in a criminal investigation?