Court Recognizes Fleeting Nature of Facebook Friendship

I just came across a funny line in a recent case (Quigley Corp. v. Karkus, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 41296 (May 15, 2009)) that had to do with whether a group challenging a corporate board failed to adequately disclose membership of a person in the challenger group.  Among the arguments raised by the existing board who was trying to stave off the challenge was that the person (who wasn't disclosed as part of the group) was "Facebook friends" with the challenger group and so he must be a part of that group!  Not surprisingly, the court did not give any credence to this evidence:
For purposes of this litigation, the Court assigns no significance to the Facebook "friends" reference.  Facebook reportedly has more than 200 million active users, and the average user has 120 "friends" on the site. . . .  Regardless of what Facebook's apparent popularity or usefullness may say about the nature of 21st century communications and relationships, the site's designers' selections of icons or labels offer no substance to this dispute . . .  Indeed, "friendships" on Facebook may be as fleeting as the flick of a delete button.
I like that - the fleeting as *the flick* of a delete button. 

On the other hand - the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Bar Association took a somewhat different view of Facebook friendships, issuing an ethics opinion that frowned upon an attorney using a third party investigator to friend a witness on Facebook for the sole purpose of obtaining information relevant to the case.  According to this opinion, the lack of candor (both failure to disclose the purpose and the fact that the friending was carried out on behalf of the lawyer) in initiating the friending potentially violated ethical rules. 
 
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