There are many ways the output appearance of web content you’re trying to save or print appears nothing like it looks online. There may be re-targeted ads with the slippers you bought for yourself last winter, the printed information may be out of order or even missing, or the header and sidebars may print out on their own separate pages. So, in our e-Discovery Trends 2017: Web Content Collection report we weren’t surprised to find that 84% of litigators were concerned about the admissibility of their web content evidence due to the appearance alone.
The authentication of web evidence is being questioned more often as technology, and our knowledge of it, continues to grow. A recent example is IL vs. Lorenzo Kent, where a first-degree murder conviction was overturned for lack of authenticated social media evidence.
True and Accurate Output Appearance
You’re probably asking, why can’t I easily click save or print and get an accurate-looking version of my web content? As e-Discovery expert, Brett Burney, says in this webinar, the web isn’t designed for print purposes. When you click print, you are essentially trying to squeeze a dynamic webpage onto an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper and into a static format. This is quite a problem for legal professionals who are looking to preserve all types of web content, and we often hear the complaint that the print-out just doesn’t match what was on the screen.
Beyond the frustration of trying to fit the dynamic web content onto a piece of paper, the issue of the print-out not looking like a true and accurate representation is the first thing the opposing party is going to notice and question, but it’s also the easiest issue to fix with Page Vault.
Here are a few common types of web content that you’ve likely tried to capture for a case, but the output didn’t turn out quite like you expected.
The process of turning dynamic web content into static content gets even messier if you are trying to capture an entire website. If you can locate all of the pages on a website and capture them individually, you’ll still need to organize them in some manner to present the information. This not only takes time, but it also leaves room for human error, making your web evidence vulnerable to doubt. At Page Vault, we organize website pages in alphabetical order so you can quickly fan through to find the specific page you’re looking for. But sometimes, websites have pages that are locked down or are hidden on the website. Our team will always crawl a website first to ensure even those hard-to-find pages are captured.
Capturing a long website that is designed for scrolling can be very tricky. Often this is an issue with social media profiles. The pages are designed to feel infinite to other social media users, but that can cause a lot of issues, and time, when trying to preserve the data from a social media profile that spans a few years.
With platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you may find that posts open as a pop-out window and it may contain a scroll element on the side. This makes capturing the post and the content on the right navigation bar (the caption, the emotigrams, and the comments) difficult.
With the increase in video content creation, it’s no surprise that videos are the fastest growing type of content being collected. As noted in our e-Discovery Trends report, 53% of litigators noted that they look for discoverable content on video platforms. Personal information or recorded events are easily found on platforms like YouTube or Vimeo. Video content is different because it has to be saved in its native format, meaning a screenshot does not sufficiently represent the content that exists in the video.
Page Vault On Demand is designed for legal projects that require accurate outputs of web content, even complex content like entire websites, scrolling social media profiles and videos. Page Vault’s output is easy for lawyers, judges, and juries, to read as it’s an accurate representation of the content found online, and includes key metadata (IP address, time stamps, URL) and affidavits to strengthen admissibility.