Ever since Stay at Home Orders went in place and the coronavirus pandemic shut down movie theatres, restaurants, and bars across the country, Americans have looked to social media to fulfill their entertainment needs. According to one study, social media users spend an average of 1 hour and 22 minutes each day on various social platforms, with Facebook being the most favored.
Many people are bored at home with too much time on their hands. As a result, they are more likely to disclose more information than they usually would on social sites, which could benefit Private Investigators in handling social media investigative work.
What is Social Media Investigation?
Social media investigations are a useful method for discovering facts and clues that can benefit a custody battle, court case, or a background inquiry. Social media posts, photos, conversations, and status updates can be used in various ways, including:
- Evidence as support to an alibi
- Supplementary evidence for risk assessment
- Establish a foundation of character
- Proof for active monitoring
Social media investigations are used in criminal cases, divorce cases, and custody battles. Social sleuthing can provide a world of information to skilled Private Investigators who know what to look for.
What Emerges from a Social Media Investigation?
Private Investigators search for keywords and posts appropriate to the objectives of the investigation. They will often use high-tech software to search, monitor activity, and set up notifications for new account creations and posts. The keywords and terms that they search for depend on the type of investigation.
Typical Court Cases
In typical court cases, Private Investigators can find information on social media that establishes character, supports other evidence, or confirms or disqualifies an alibi. Location tags on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts can be highly revealing, along with other individuals’ social profiles tagged in photos and posts. Particular investigations, like cases involving minors, can utilize searches and alerts on specific terms that can reveal the age and type of individuals a suspect is communicating with.
Social media used in custody cases may include looking at pictures posted across multiple platforms to detect who an individual is socializing with. Social posts could divulge whether the parent, either mother or father, is fit and can be trusted to maintain custody. Depending on how savvy the Private Investigator is, he or she may be able to expose an individual’s priorities, intentions, and thoughts that can drastically alter a custody battle outcome.
Drug Use Cases
An investigation involving whether a person uses drugs often means searching for photos and posts on all social platforms that would suggest potential drug use. The Private Investigator may set up notifications to alert when specific terms relating to drug use are posted. Some sting operations rely on social media to learn whether an individual uses social messaging to communicate with a drug dealer or an associate of a dealer.
Online Courses Available for Private Investigators
The National Investigative Training Academy, Inc., (NITA) is a source for online continuing education and professional development courses for Private Investigators. Each course provided by NITA is formulated by industry professionals and intended to develop your private investigative career. Online courses offered through NITA are available for enrollment at any time. Once enrolled, students have access to all course material that can be reviewed at any time, 24/7. Students can start benefiting from training classes immediately and advance their careers on their own time. If you have a computer and a stable internet connection, then you have a world of opportunity at your fingertips.
Student satisfaction is our No. 1 goal at NITA. To enroll in a private investigative course today, complete our contact form or call (800) 730-6482 today!