It’s seems that The Dreadful
Pro-Se Freeloader Schmalfeldt simply doesn’t understand the meaning of the word spoliation as it relates to evidence. It’s the intentional, reckless, or negligent withholding, hiding, altering, fabricating, or destroying of evidence relevant to a legal proceeding. If someone so much as hides evidence sought by an adverse party in a lawsuit, he is has engaged in spoliation of that evidence. It doesn’t matter if someone else has a copy of the document. Spoliation occurs when the original is compromised.
It’s my understanding that the Rules of Evidence generally require that the original document or an authenticated copy is necessary for that document to be admissible as evidence, but an exception to the hearsay rule allows for an unauthenticated copy to admitted if the person who should have produced the document engaged in spoliation. IANAL, so YMMV.
It looks as if the Cabin Boy™ has painted himself into an corner. It’s obvious that he has deleted files from the Internet, in effect hiding them. If, as he says, spoliation hasn’t occurred because of the copies posted online, then he has authenticated the copies. (“Anything you say can be used in evidence against you.”) OTOH, if he fails to produce copies of his web postings during discovery or in response to a subpoena because he’s deleted them, a court may find that he’s engaged in spoliation. In that case, the court can make the adverse inference that TDFS was trying to hide something and that the online copies are true and correct. Neither possibility is favorable for the Cabin Boy™.