There’s now legal precedent that supports what we all pretty much know: Just because you’re Facebook friends with someone, it doesn’t mean you’re ACTUALLY friends with them. A judge in Miami-Dade County, Florida named Beatrice Butchko was presiding over a case recently about some unpaid legal bills, and one of the attorneys was her Facebook friend. The other attorney said that Butchko should recuse herself, because it was a conflict of interest for her to make a decision in a case involving a friend. She didn’t want to drop it, though, because she said she barely knew the attorney.
And an appeals court just sided with her last week, and said that Facebook friends AREN’T your real friends.
In the opinion, they wrote, quote, “Acceptance as a Facebook ‘friend’ may well once have given the impression of close friendship and affiliation. Currently, however, the degree of intimacy among Facebook ‘friends’ varies greatly.”