Skip to main content

Internet Privacy and the Court

Read this in: Spanish / Español
Authored By: Iowa Legal Aid


"Can the things I post or send on the Internet be used against me in court?"

Yes, so think before you post, tweet, or hit send.  Many people think that their accounts are secure or private.  However, the things we post and send are generally not considered to be protected.  In court cases, especially involving custody, it is now common to see Internet postings, photographs, emails, and text messages used to discredit a party.  Most lawyers have accounts with social media sites for the purpose of being able to look up opposing parties.  People have lost jobs, children, and their good reputations because of pictures or words they've openly shared on social media sites.

While it is important to maintain strict privacy settings, those are not foolproof.  It is better to limit what you post in the first place.  So, before you post, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. How would this look to a judge?
  2. How would this look to an employer?
  3. How could the person who likes you least use this against you?

If you can answer any of these questions in a negative way that might harm you, don't post, tweet, or send it.


This legal information was translated with the assistance of a Prairie Meadows Community Betterment grant.

Last Review and Update: May 04, 2020
Back to top