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“Your Honour, according to Wikipedia…”. Court Perspectives on Internet Media. Serving Documents Using Social Media. Citigroup Party Ltd. V. Weerakoon [ 2008] QDC 174, 1 ( Austl ).

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your honour according to wikipedia

“Your Honour, according to Wikipedia…”

Court Perspectives on Internet Media


Serving Documents Using Social Media

Citigroup Party Ltd. V. Weerakoon

[2008] QDC 174, 1 (Austl)

I am not so satisfied in light of looking at the uncertainty of Facebook pages, the facts that anyone can create an identity that could mimic the true person’s identity and indeed some of the information that is provided there does not show me with any real force that the person who created the Facebook page might indeed be the defendant, even though practically speaking it may well indeed be the person who is the defendant.


Serving Documents Using Social Media

MKM Capital v. Corbo and Poyser

[2008] ACTA 12, (Austl)

  • Corbo and Poyser had friended each other
  • Birth dates and email addresses matched known information
  • Accounts active
  • Service allowed

Serving Documents Using Social Media

AKO Capital LLP & Another v TFS Derivatives & Others (2012) (UK High Court) Unreported

  • The Facebook account did indeed belong to Mr. De Biase
  • Mr. De Biaseregularly accessed such account, as recent friend requests were being accepted.

Admissibility of Internet Media

ITV Technologies v. WIC Television Ltd. (2003)


Admissibility of Internet Media

Thorpe v. Honda Canada Inc. (2010)

The internet is an abundant source of information. Some of the information available is impeccably accurate, while other information is pure garbage. It does not make sense, on the one hand, to conclude that any and all information pulled from the world-wide web is inherently unreliable and ought to be given zero weight; on the other hand, it makes equally little sense to open the door to admitting into court absolutely anything placed on the internet by anybody.


Admissibility of Internet Media

Thorpe v. Honda Canada Inc. (2010)

Reliability Factors:


Admissibility of Internet Media

The Canon Cases: Williams v. Canon Canada Inc.

Common sense tells us that simply because there are several million responses on Google to "Elvis is alive" or "I have been abducted by aliens" does not mean that these statements are true, either as individual observations or as collective proof of the facts. Nor do hundreds of thousands or even millions of responses to "E18 Lens Error" mean that hundreds of thousands or millions of people have experienced an E18 Error message. There is in this case no objective basis to determine that the results of the Google searches are reliable, and there is, in fact, evidence to the contrary.



Citigroup Party Ltd. V. Weerakoon [2008] QDC 174, 1 (Austl)

  • Relevance defined by pleadings
  • Counsel not permitted to engage in “fishing expeditions”
  • Scope of discovery can be limited to prevent abuse or oppressive demands
  • “Knowledge, information or belief” includes hearsay evidence.
  • Questions about a party’s position on a question of law are permissible.

Scope of the Examination for Discovery

Surveillance: Beland v. Hill