Facebook: To Be A Friend Or Not To Be

Author:Mr Diego Fernandez
Profession:Foley & Lardner

Argentine courts rule that Facebook friends are not close friends on the terms of the procedural law.

It is a fact that Facebook has 1,300,000,000 monthly active users. That means that most of us have our own Facebook page and lots of "friends." It is no surprise that we tend to have more friends on Facebook than those we do have in real life. In that regard, it has been argued that friending someone on Facebook has a different connotation to that in real life. The same goes for the "likes."

This specific aspect of Facebook, being a Facebook friend, was tested before the Argentine courts in two court proceedings (In re Castro Javier Hernan v. Suarez Rodolfo Daniel, Labor Court of Appeals, Chamber VII, Docket No. 2235/11, March 31, 2014; and In re Martinez Paula Eliana v. Hale Contrucciones SRL, Labor Court of Appeals, Chamber VII, Docket No. 19994/10, March 31, 2014) seeking the recognition of an employment relationship between the parties.

According to the Argentine Procedural Law Code in Civil and Commercial Matters, witnesses are requested to indicate up front if they are close friends to any of the parties. Although being a close friend does not in itself prevent them from being witnesses, courts are required to weigh their testimony under the rules of logic and experience or judicial discretion ("sana crítica" in Spanish) to balance any effect friendship may pose on...

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