Forty per cent of adulterous divorce cases in Italy cite WhatsApp messages as evidence of unfaithfulness, the Italian Association of Matrimonial Lawyers has reported.
The president of the association Gian Ettore Gassani told The Times (£): “Social media has boosted betrayal in Italy by making it easier, first through texting, then Facebook, and now WhatsApp, which is being used widely and has encouraged the return of the Latin lover.”
Mr Gassani added: “Lovers can now exchange risqué photos of themselves, and we have seen adulterers using the service to maintain three or four relationships – it’s like dynamite.”
These claims back previous findings about social media and divorce, including a 2012 survey of lawyers by Divorce-Online UK that claimed that evidence from Facebook was used in a third of all divorces the previous year.
Last year a study published in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking also found that individuals who used social media excessively (aka checking sites more than once an hour) were more likely to experience problems such as “Facebook-induced jealousy” and cheat with ex-partners.
10 facts you didn’t know about Facebook
10 facts you didn’t know about Facebook
Around 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day, with the site estimating in September last year that users had so far put up more than 250 billion images. That’s 4,000 photos uploaded every second and around 4 per cent of all photos ever taken, according to a study by Nokia.
Facebook’s logo is blue because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colour blind. “Blue is the richest color for me. I can see all of blue," said Zuckerberg in an interview with the New Yorker. The colour is so popular that Facebook’s campus store even sells nail polish in the exact shade named ‘social butterfly blue’.
Zuckerberg's famously low-key wardrobe (either a grey t-shirt or a hoodie) is so that the CEO saves time deciding what to wear each day. However, Zuckerberg is known to dress up when the occasion demands it. For a 2011 event with Barack Obama he showed up in a suit, with the president introducing himself by saying: “I’m Barack Obama and I’m the guy who got Mark to wear a jacket and tie.”
In July 2006 Zuckerberg turned down a $1 billion offer for the site from Yahoo. He was 22 years old at the time and owned 25 per cent of the company. Zuckerberg reportedly turned it down by saying “I don't know what I could do with the money. I'd just start another social networking site. I kind of like the one I already have.” He definitely made the right choice: Facebook is now valued at $135 billion.
A YouGov poll claimed that three-quarter of UK Facebook users' photos showed someone drinking or inebriated. However, the poll did ask users to estimate the number of boozy snaps themselves, and like all things on Facebook, there might have been an element of exaggeration involved.
Facebook operates a bounty hunter program – for bugs. Like many other big technology companies Facebook offers cash rewards to security researchers who point out flaws in the site’s code. The minimum payout is $500 and the largest prize to date has been $33,500.
More than a third of divorce filings in 2011 referenced Facebook, said a survey from UK-based legal firm Divorce Online. The exact figures may be an estimate, but with just under 8 trillion Facebook messages sent in 2013 it’s certain that a substantial body of evidence is to be found on the social network.
Zuckerberg isn’t much of a Twitter fan. Despite having nearly three hundred thousand followers on the service he’s only tweeted 19 times - once in 2012 and the rest in 2009. Although Facebook dwarfs twitter in terms of active users (1 billion compared with 200 million by some accounts) the micro-blogging site handles breaking news better. Facebook has introduced trending topics and hashtags to counter this.
Following the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 Iceland decided to rewrite their constitution using Facebook to solicit suggestions from citizens. Unfortunately, despite this forward thinking approach, the document was killed by politicians in mid-2013 for various (mostly technical) reasons.
You can browse Facebook upside down. Facebook currently supports more than 70 different languages – including English (Pirate) and English (Upside Down). Check the bottom of the column on the right of your newsfeed and click your current language to change!
WhatsApp, a free messaging app that was bought by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014, currently has more than 600 million users worldwide. The app was also in the news last week after it introduced a new feature that tells users not only when their messages have been received – but also when they’ve been read.
This update might make it more difficult for partners to deny even having seen inappropriate messages, but Mr Gassani apparently had more straightforward advice for cheaters: put your phone on silent.
“My message to adulterers is, ‘Be prudent’, since if it makes betrayal easier WhatsApp also makes it easier to be caught,” the lawyer told The Times. "Spouses often become suspicious when they hear the beep of an incoming message.”