Can Your Probation Officer Monitor Your Social Media?

Can Your Probation Officer Monitor Your Social Media?

Yes. Your probation officer can monitor your social media while you are on probation. This is becoming more and more common in the age of social media.

Will your probation officer monitor your social media?

Yes. Not only can they watch your social media, they likely will. Around the country, officers are using social media to keep track of people.

Much of what you post on social media is public. It’s not just your probation officer who can monitor your social media. Employers are also known to check the social media of their prospective hires.

Anyone can look at your social media if you don’t change your settings to private. And even then some information remains public. In general, you should assume that your probation officer can read anything that you post anywhere online.

Your probation officer can monitor your social media accounts.
Image courtesy of Lisa Fotios from Pexels.

Can you set your social media accounts to private when you are on probation?

Yes. There is no law that stops you from keeping your social media accounts private. This will make it harder for your probation officer to monitor your social media.
However, this won’t stop them from seeing what you post. Even if your account is private, officers may be able to see your posts. Most social media companies will comply with a search warrant. But in your case, an officer may not even need a warrant. You agree to give up your some of your rights to privacy when you agree to probation.

Indeed, the only way to completely avoid your probation officer seeing your social media is to deactivate your accounts. If you do not use social media, they will have nothing to monitor.

Can social media posts violate your probation?

Yes. When you accept probation, you agree to certain terms. If your probation officer has any evidence of you breaking those terms, it can be a violation. There are many ways you could violate your probation with social media use.

  • Drug or alcohol use. Any photographs of you using drugs or alcohol can be a violation. Pictures of you at parties or bars can work against you in your probation meetings, too.
  • Social relationships. When you are on probation, there are people you cannot spend time with. Those people include victims of your crime and other felons. If you are seen in photos with these people, it can be a violation.
  • Travel. You may have travel restrictions as part of your probation. Photos of you in places outside of where you can legally travel can be a violation. Your probation officer will look for location tags on posts as well.
  • Internet use at all. In some cases, the terms of your probation might include not using the internet or social media at all. If that’s true in your case, even being seen online can violate your probation.

 

Your probation officer might monitor your social media accounts to see if you are violating conditions like no alcohol.
Image courtesy of cottonbro from Pexels.

The Takeaway:

Your probation officer can monitor your social media. In fact, it is likely that they will. If your accounts are public, anyone can access them. But even if you set them to private, officers have ways of accessing them. Your social media posts can be used as evidence of probation violations.

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