Using Social Media Tools for Investigations
Using social media tools for investigations can be beneficial if you employ them correctly. However, there is a point where you have to walk the line between analysis and overreach. If you believe you can find a criminal on social media, an individual posting about crimes or events that put other individuals at harm, then using social media tools for investigation can help you quickly locate the event.
Social media users post videos, images and comments online that incriminate themselves or make them witnesses to crimes. In these instances, social media analysis tools help investigators locate a criminal or suspicious activity.
Social Media Analysis Tools and Their Applications
Social media analysis tools can provide a wealth of information that can lead investigators to identify suspects or threats to public safety. Tweets, Facebook posts or Instagram shares can help law enforcement discover criminal activity.
When law enforcement is investigating a suspect, social media is often a helpful tool in figuring out more information about an individual. For example, while an individual might say one thing in person, their speech or actions on social media may be contradictory and worth examining.
Users also tend to post what they witness online. In these instances, a witness may notice a crime occurring and Tweet or post a video about it. Sometimes, the suspect may post something on their social media that attracts the attention of law enforcement.
One such case occurred when TikTokers posted videos of themselves hosting large parties during the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdowns. Since these parties directly violated LA county’s “safer-at-home” order, law enforcement who caught wind of the events knew where to locate the offenders and issue fines.
Another example comes from the individuals who breached the Capitol building in January 2021. Many of these people posted videos of the event on social media or posts bragging about how they entered the complex that night. As a result, the FBI used these social media posts as evidence to arrest these rioters.
Location-Based Social Media Monitoring
On that note, you can also complete social media monitoring via location-based tags. Users often share their location through geotags on any of the major networks, like Instagram and Facebook.
If an emergency occurs, social media users may post online about the event they are witnessing. These posts can be scanned for relevant information, such as location and time. The geotags help law enforcement pinpoint the event’s location and arrive at the scene quickly.
One example of this is from the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. At the time, the FBI had two suspects and decided to appeal to the public online for help identifying them. Users shared thousands of videos and images to help the investigation.
Countless events like these are recorded and posted to social media in real time. Thanks to geotagging, law enforcement can identify the event’s location, which enables quicker response times.
Kaseware Geospatial Criminal Software
Kaseware provides geospatial criminal software that can help law enforcement agencies organize data gathered by location. Our software organizes geotagged posts and other location-based information into maps outlining where illegal activity has occurred.
The benefits of this service include:
- Geographically related problem identification.
- Traffic forecasting.
- Geographical changes.
- Crime pattern prioritization.
- Real-time response to events.
- Trend forecasting.
By looking at this data, law enforcement can know where a crime is occurring or has happened in the past. They can also see suspects’ locations or areas where there were past arrests. This allows law enforcement to respond in real time to specific events or find trends and connections.
If a specific area has a high rate of violent activity, for example, geospatial software will show this on the map. This visualization can help law enforcement understand trends and allocate resources to the areas that need it the most.
With the move toward community-oriented policing on the rise, geospatial software has the potential to help create a safe environment for everyone. Kaseware promotes the use of this data to help make communities all across the nation safe.
Improve Investigations Involving Social Media With Kaseware
Although social media can often aid law enforcement officers in detecting ongoing crimes or finding criminals, the system is flawed. With privacy concerns and First Amendment rights on the table, social media monitoring has to be precise to avoid abuse of power.
Social media and geotagging are both beneficial tools for investigations when employed correctly. Geospatial software like Kaseware works best when used respectfully to investigate and solve serious crimes. To learn more about our solution, schedule a free demo today.
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