Social Media investigations are an increasingly common feature of any investigative effort. The police routinely use social media to gather evidence and build cases. Thanks to the wealth of personal information online, social media investigations can be used to ascertain someone’s character, check for illegal or inappropriate behavior, to find someone, or to prove (or disprove) an alibi.
Social media investigations are incredibly powerful for two reasons. Firstly, over 81% of the adult US population use some form of social media, and 79% of all Americans are on Facebook. Secondly, the complicated privacy settings and rules of sites like Facebook mean that most people don’t realize how easily accessible and public the information they post online actually is.
When a private investigator conducts a social media investigation, they’ll check popular social media sites like:
Typical Use Cases for Social Media Investigations:
Social media is a rich source of information for just about any investigation. If your goals include gathering information about someone’s movements, associates, or character, social media investigations are a great fit. Here are some of the most common use cases:
Gathering Evidence for Court
Social media is a great source of evidence for court cases. Usually, social media investigations are used to gather evidence to establish someone’s character, prove or disprove an alibi, or gather other miscellaneous supporting evidence.
Investigators can gather more information than statuses, tweets, and photos from social media too. The metadata attached to posts can be used to determine where someone was at a given time, as well as someone’s behaviors and habits over time. This sort of evidence can discredit or reinforce someone’s claims, or even establish their reliability as a witness.
If you’re thinking of using a social media investigation to gather evidence for court or some other legal process, you should be careful. Evidence should be collected methodically, with appropriate metadata and other validating information intact. If the evidence is gathered incorrectly, it can be thrown out of court. It pays to use a professional investigator to gather the evidence in a way that is admissible in court, and supports your case.
Types of Social Media Evidence Typically Collected for Court Cases:
- Relevant statements or comments
- Metadata from posts establishing time and location of posting
- Posts relating to past illegal activity
- Content establishing character (for example, attitudes to police, past sentiments, racist or sexist content etc)
- List of social media profiles and screen names associated with target individual
Social Media Employment Checks
Let’s face it – regular background checks and reference checks are little more than an IQ test for potential applicants. Applicants won’t give you bad references, and won’t submit to a background check they know they won’t pass. If you need to properly assess someone’s character and past, you need to go deeper.
Social media investigations are a great way to establish the character, work experience, and education of a potential hire. Social media investigations can find evidence of past illegal behavior, provide evidence to support or discredit claims about education and employment, and assess whether they are likely to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with your organization.
Tracker Investigations, LLC, covers Charleston, SC, including Daniel Island and Mount Pleasant. We handle all types of surveillance cases and specialize in Adultery-Cheating Spouse-Infidelity Investigations.
Call us……….When It’s Time To Know The Truth.