MySpace drinkin’ photos causing real life problems again

Last time it was probation being revoked. This time it’s children being taken away. A recent Texas case shows how irresponsible social media use can have some unpleasant consequences.

Mann v. Department of Family and Protective Services, 2009 WL 2961396 (Tex. App. September 17, 2009)

Appellant had her baby taken away by state protective services. She sought review with the court claiming, among other things, that the state had presented “no evidence that [Appellant] engaged in endangering conduct.”

Woo hoo

The court found otherwise, agreeing with the lower court that Appellant had endangered the child. Among the evidence it considered were photos from Appellant’s MySpace account with the following captions, unedited to preserve their original ebullience:


  • At Ashley House Dranking it Up
  • Me Helping Ashley Stand Up, Were Both Drunk
  • Me Dancing my ass off, I can dance when I drunk
  • Yall see how much we Dranked plus the one’s that droped on the floor
  • We were all fucked up

Oh, by the way, Appellant was under 21.

The court held that “[t]his evidence could lead a reasonable factfinder to firmly believe that appellant engaged in underage drinking on these two occasions, despite knowing that she was under the legal drinking age.”

Photo courtesy Flickr user Mercury98 under this Creative Commons license.

1 Comment

  1. I don't know why people are so shocked and appalled that social networking photos are now being used in court. They're photographic evidence. If you don't want anyone to find out you're doing something illegal, don't post it online.

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