Why taking screenshots is a good habit to have in family law proceedings

Emma Maxwell
read time
2 minutes
June 28, 2022
The ability to edit or recall sent messages in iPhone’s ios16 operating system poses some serious problems for family lawyers, who may see one of their best sources of evidence destroyed or manipulated

On 6 June 2022, Apple announced the new features that would be released with their ios16 release for iPhones.

And family lawyers everywhere heard the sounds of some of their best evidence being destroyed or tampered with.

You can check out the announcement here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5D55G7Ejs8

Essentially, the new feature is the ability to edit or recall sent messages after they’ve been sent.

If you’ve ever participated in family law proceedings, you will know that there aren’t many Affidavits that are filed without the obligatory screenshots of at least one text message annexed to the back of it.

In videos making their way around TikTok at the moment, a user sends someone a message asking an innocent question that they know will receive a positive response.  The user then edits the original message and screenshots it, so it appears as if the recipient agreed to a far less wholesome proposal.

The potential for messages to be manipulated for family law proceedings, or to perpetuate ongoing family violence, is extreme.

You can read an article about the potential misuse of the new feature, quoted as bringing “the biggest age of cheating, gaslighting and manipulation that we’ve ever seen” here: https://slate.com/technology/2022/06/apple-ios16-iphone-imessage-edit-delete-pranks.html

Our advice is that you adopt a habit of taking screenshots of every message you send and receive via Messenger, as soon as you can.  And then back those screenshots up to a secure Cloud storage site as you go (because phones can be lost or destroyed so easily, especially in a family violence situation).