Appeals court says Facebook friends aren’t always friends

MIAMI (AP) — Legally, Facebook friends aren’t necessarily your friends.

That was the opinion from a Florida appeals court Wednesday. In a 10-page opinion, the court ruled that Miami-Dade Judge Beatrice Butchko doesn’t need to recuse herself because an attorney involved in a case in her courtroom is a Facebook “friend.” The case involved a lawsuit over unpaid legal bills.

The Miami Herald reports the ruling notes that Facebook data mining and algorithms lead to people accepting friend requests from people they hardly know or who they are only acquainted with in professional circles.

But the fight over Facebook friendship continues. An appeals court in Palm Beach has ruled to the contrary. That means the question over the true meaning of social media friendship could eventually be decided by the Florida Supreme Court.

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