Overcoming Social Media eDiscovery Challenges Part 3: Social Media Review
By Helen Geib, General Counsel and Practice Support Consultant, QDiscovery
The first two posts in this series discussed practical challenges in identifying, preserving and collecting social media evidence. This third and final installment covers social media review challenges. The informality of social media requires a different approach to analysis and review than standard ESI.
One of these things is not like the other
Standard eDiscovery tools and workflows are designed for business documents. Business documents are self-contained (i.e., all the content is contained in a single electronic file). They are typically at least a paragraph or longer in length. Business writing is characterized by complete sentences, proper grammar and correct spelling and punctuation. It uses a small universe of widely recognized symbols, most found on the qwerty keyboard.
Social media is unlike business documents in pretty much every way. It’s characterized by:
- Very short text
- Insider lingo
To make matters worse, social media acronyms, abbreviations, insider lingo and emojis are continually developing, carry multiple meanings and/or are used to mean different things by different people. Complicating the situation even further, emojis are platform-dependent; this means that the same emoji may look completely different – literally – when viewed on two different devices. For more on emojis in litigation, see this Inside Counsel article.