What is a Social Media Expert Witness? A Social Media Expert Witness is someone who provides expert evidence related to Internet social media and social-media marketing in court proceedings; someone who “is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education” and whose “specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue” [US Federal Rules of Evidence, Rule 702. Testimony by Expert Witnesses] in cases that have some kind of social-media element to them.
Thus a Social Media Expert Witness is someone who helps attorneys, judges, and juries understand evidence related in some way to social media. The type of cases in which such testimony is required vary greatly; they frequently include litigation related to trademark infringement, but may also involve the theft of trade secrets, unfair business practices, online defamation, patents, and more.
What Does a Social Media Expert Witness Do?
Peter Kent is one of the top Social Media Expert Witnesses in the United States, having provided testimony regarding SEO in numerous cases. These cases include:
- Trademark cases in which a defendant has used the plaintiff’s brand or wordmark in social media.
- Cases in which a party is accused of using a company’s brand name in Instagram posts in order to manipulate search-engine results.
- Defamation cases in which someone has defamed another party in social-media posts.
- Unfair business practice cases in which someone is accused of using “black hat” SEO techniques in combination with social media.
- Theft of trade secrets in which a business partner copied a company’s social-media software graphical user interface.
- The creation of sham social-media “review” sites that defame a competitor.