Facebook pictures of a Mother drinking and socializing were properly admitted into evidence according to the Court of Appeals of Kentucky in an appeal from a divorce and custody order. LaLonde v. LaLonde, No. 2009-CA-002279-MR, 2011 WL 832465 (Ky. Ct. App. Feb. 25, 2011). The Court held that the photos posted on the social networking site were properly authenticated by testimony of the Mother and thus, properly admitted into evidence.
On appeal, the Mother argued that the photos were not properly authenticated prior to their admission into evidence. Applying well-settled principles of authentication, the Court held that there was sufficient evidence to support a finding that the photos were accurate representations of what they purported to be. Noting that photographs are often authenticated by testimony of the person who took the photo, the Court opined that testimony from the person actually depicted in the photograph can provide a sufficient basis for authentication as well. Here, the Mother admitted that she had been drinking and that the pictures accurately depicted her doing so. Thus, the photos were properly authenticated and admissible based on the Mother's testimony.
Despite her acknowledgement and in an effort to raise doubt as to the authenticity of the photos, the Mother argued that modern technology allows pictures to be easily manipulated. However, because she offered no evidence to suggest how the photos were altered, the Court summarily dismissed her argument.
Finally, the Mother proffered a fairness argument premised on the idea that Facebook allows users to post and "tag" pictures of other people without their express permission. In rejecting this argument, the Court reasoned that the law does not require the subject's permission to post their picture on Facebook, nor does the law require that a subject consent before being tagged in a photo. Accordingly, these arguments offered no basis for the picture's exclusion.