IT MAY have started as a harmless flirt - but the saucy messages and pictures people post on Facebook are now used in a third of all divorce cases.
Words and pictures on the social networking site are increasingly relied upon as proof of inappropriate behaviour, a survey by a legal firm has found.
The site unwittingly provided evidence of infidelity and new relationships, helped track people’s movements and recorded expenditure on everything from cars to holidays.
Leeds law firm Lake Legal said many cases revolved around social media users who got back in touch with old flames they hadn’t heard from in years.
Managing partner Lyn Ayrton said: “Social media provides an on-going log of our lives. The sharing of written posts and pictures, often with geo-tagging, provides a record of activities that can be used in a court case.
“Often, if a partner refers to an impending bonus, a new job offer, or plans for a holiday, it may provide evidence that they are not telling the truth about their financial position. At the very least, it could call their credibility into question.”
Recent reports from Italy estimated that Whatsapp, the instant messaging service acquired by Facebook this year for $19 billion, is cited in nearly half of all Italian divorce proceedings — more than any other source of information.