In the old days, it was hard to track people down. You had to dig through public records to find marriages and license renewals, arrests and convictions, and you had to paint a picture of an individual’s life. These days, though, social media makes it almost easy to track someone down. You have more people than ever before who are creating a (typically public) record of their lives, and anyone with Internet access can find out all kinds of things if they know what to look for. You can find out where they live, who they’re in a relationship with, where they work… and in many cases you can even catch them breaking the rules.
How Social Media Has Changed Investigations
As Pamela Hay said in an interview at PI Now, social media provides a window onto someone’s life. Even with privacy settings, social media can be a gold mine of information. If an investigator can grab a copy of someone’s photos, then they can use a simple reverse lookup tool (such as the one Google provides free of charge) to find where else that picture shows up. That might mean investigators can find other social media profiles, even those under alternate names, if the individual used the same pictures. Social media check-ins can show where someone was at a certain date and time, which can be quite valuable for investigators who are trying to nail down a timeline of a subject’s movements.
Social media hasn’t replaced witness interviews, public records searches, and other traditional forms of investigative legwork… but in many cases it can seriously save the investigators’ time, and feet.
For more information about social media, and how it can be used as a modern investigative tool, simply contact us today!