Academics, lawyers: social media feeds don’t always reflect mental health

"...People might use Facebook as a means of 'keeping up appearances' by portraying their lives as happy."

It’s easy to see how a back injury claim could be dismissed if an investigator finds recent Facebook pictures of the plaintiff crossing a marathon finish line. But when it comes to mental health problems, lawyers and academics are arguing that that the correlation isn’t so clear.

“Jurors may not realize that people might use Facebook as a means of ‘keeping up appearances’ by portraying their lives as happy,” a 2012 article in the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology said.

And a B.C. lawyer, whose client’s personal injury claim was deemed to be exaggerated because of her vibrant Facebook profile and thus only awarded a fraction of her suit, filed a notice of appeal. “This is a venue she used to portray and indicate happy things,” Veronica Milne-Medved told the National Post. “One of our experts commented on that and said this is almost like an alter-ego type thing, it’s only all positive rainbows and butterflies.”

Read more.

Take a look at our April 2015 story on social media fraud investigation.

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