Parker v. DelawareAnnotate this Case
Defendant-Appellant Tiffany Parker was convicted of second-degree assault. She appealed that conviction, arguing the Superior Court erred in admitting statements posted on her Facebook profile. Defendant urged the Supreme Court to adopt Maryland's approach to admitting this kind of evidence: social media evidence could only be authenticated through the testimony of the creator, documentation of the internet history or hard drive of the purported creator's computer, or information obtained directly from the social networking site. Under this approach, social media evidence is only authenticated and admissible where the proponent can convince the trial judge that the social media post was not falsified or created by another user. The State argued the Delaware Court adopt the Texas approach: the proponent could authenticate social media evidence using any type of evidence so long as he or she could demonstrate to the trial judge that a jury could reasonably find that the proffered evidence was authentic. The Superior Court adopted the Texas approach and found that Defendant's social media post was sufficiently authenticated by circumstantial evidence and by testimony explaining how the post was obtained. On appeal, Defendant contended that social media evidence requires greater scrutiny. The Delaware Supreme Court concluded that the Texas approach better conformed to the requirements of Rule 104 and Rule 901 of the Delaware Rules of Evidence. The Court therefore found no abuse of discretion by the trial court in admitting the social media evidence in accordance with the Delaware Rules of Evidence, and affirmed.