Some of the headlines:
"Lawsuits sent via Facebook" Courier Mail
"Facebook first as lawyers use site to track debt-dodgers" Independent
"Court's use of Facebook to serve documents a world first" Daily Telegraph
and a favorite of mine
"You've been poked - now you're homeless." Times Online, UK
That one just strikes me as unseemly.
Of course the couple who have been dodging the front doorbell and not answering the phone thereby thwarting attempts to serve still haven't been served. Why? Because they heard about the ruling that Facebook could be used and removed their profiles from public view.
The lawyers in the case are still OK with this because they say it further proves that they have tried all means necessary to contact the couple.
Of course reporters for the AP had no trouble finding the couple in default at home in order to obtain quotes in their report.
What it does seem to say in a nutshell is that physical mail is no longer considered the only reliable, secure and private medium for communication.
A Facebook spokesman spun this nugget out of it as well as described in Rod McGuirk's report:
"The ruling is also an interesting indication of the increasing role that Facebook is playing in people's lives," Schnitt added. The company said it believed this was the first time it has been used to serve a foreclosure notice.
So, if this holds for Facebook, how about MySpace or Konnects or LinkedIn? For that matter, how about our hyperlocal communities like FeedTacoma or Exit133? What if you are a citizen blogger for the Tribune and you are served through the comments section? I would imagine it depends on the communication infrastructure associated with the service, as it is mostly social networks that allow for the private communication between members.