Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

The Legal Minefield of Office Group Chat

Anything you type in work chat—or anywhere else—can be used in a court of law.

We, the modern, group-chatting professional class, saw our personal nightmares play out in a courtroom this week. On Tuesday, John Cook, executive editor of media company Gawker, had to explain, in open court, penis jokes he and his staff made in work group chat platform Campfire in 2012. "I would characterize it as workplace humor," he said, in a taped deposition that was played in front of a jury and live-streamed to anyone who wanted to watch. 

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