Chances are you’re no stranger to social media; but have you heard of social media investigations? For those who haven’t; social media investigations gather data from social media posts, status updates, photos, and conversations of an individual. It’s becoming increasingly common in police investigations and private detectives utilize it on a regular basis to help them solve tons of cases.
As of 2017, 81% of the American population is involved with some form of social media. That’s a lot of human beings volunteering random information about random things! How many of us share pictures on a regular basis or have an occasional rant once in a while? I, myself, like to go on for a few hours about how great my chicken salad is and how I think people should hug more.
We are all building individual databases of ourselves. Like a data sculpture. Instead of shaping that attractive chiseled jaw, though, you’re letting us all know how much you like to see kittens in hats. Not only do humans love to brag about – you know- everything. We also get bored easily; which doesn’t always generate ideal behavior.
So what is this data used for? Well, I’m glad I asked myself this question on your behalf! Here’s a short list of some of the basic functions of social media investigations.
- Gathering evidence for court – Yeah! This is a thing. Sometimes you can find out where someone was or what they were doing at a specific time. You can get an idea of someones character which can be very useful in court cases. You get a nice snapshot of their psyche. Not only that – you get to see how others react to that person, too. Especially loved ones. Very telling.
- Employment checks – Once again, this can help you define someones character. Many people post their work history or post status messages about a certain experience at a previous job.
- Locate a missing person – This is especially useful for runaways! Thank you location data!
- Locate someone who skipped out on bail – I think this one is entertaining. Someone breaks the law – gets out – and breaks the law again. But don’t worry, you’ll see them post about a new pair of shoes; complete with pictures and – say it with me – location data!
- Custody cases – Here is where it’s especially important to know someones character. You can see the kind of activity parents regularly participate in; and who they participate in them with! If drug abuse or poor morality is apparent, social media investigations can be used to establish evidence of it.
- Cheating spouses – Information in messages can be used to prove infidelity. Which is one reason it’s important to have a private investigator acquire it! They can do so in a way which makes it admissible in court. Data location also comes into play. Such a useful tool! Pictures on some profiles can also be in a reverse image search to find dating profiles which could be under different names.
- Investigate a potential scammer – A social media investigation can verify if the person you’re chatting up is who they claim to be. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
When asking your PI for help, make sure you provide them with the information they will need so they can get the best results. Please keep in mind that acquiring any information via social media yourself can result in damaging your case. If you need some help contact us. We can ensure you’re on the right path!