Let’s face it. Almost everyone you know is on social media these days, and it is rare indeed for anyone not to have Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. This changes a lot of things in the world today – how you interact with friends, how you meet people, how you communicate, and yes, even how investigations are conducted.
The question as to whether social media investigators will take the place of old-school private investigators is a legitimate one. This is because people turn to social media investigators when they want to have someone checked or looked into. While the answer may be yes to this question, there is no need, however, for private investigators to fear for their jobs.
In reality, yesterday’s private investigator has actually transitioned into researching and investigating their targets with the help of a variety of different mediums, and social media is one of them. This means that when you hire a PI to investigate someone online, they are simply using one of the tools at their disposal. This gives them some insight on the person through the pictures that are posted, locations that have been checked into, and people who they’ve interacted with.
Can Anyone Be a Social Media Investigator?
Private investigators, who now use social media to investigate people and gather evidence, even have software that can be used to circumvent privacy settings. This may be the reason why social media investigators are being tagged as the future of private investigation, since PIs now rely partly on social media for the information they gather on a person.
Before you think that you can also do this on your own, think again. Professional social media investigators know how to find the information that is needed without violating laws, and without jeopardizing the authenticity and validity of the evidence presented. There is, after all, a protocol to be followed when evidence is gathered, and PIs know how to do this.
This also means that not anyone can call themselves a social media investigator just because they can easily scroll through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts to look for information on a person. These professionals know how to preserve, authenticate, and present evidence according to the rules of the court, and amateurs do not.
Where Information from Social Media Investigations are Used
Social media investigators can now dig up dirt on people that their clients need, and this information can be used in a court of law as supplemental evidence. For example, if there is a custody case that requires evidence of a person’s questionable character, posts and pictures on the person’s profile page can be used to establish this. Geotagging can also be used to establish a person’s location at a specific time and can place them at or away from the scene of a crime.
Hiring a social media investigator is not just for getting rid of stalkers or for finding dirt on a spouse. It is also used by companies to find out more about their applicants before hiring them. Law enforcement can also use this to weed out criminals like pedophiles and scammers who victimize people on these social networks. These people need the help of social media investigators since these professionals have the knowledge, ability, and tenacity to find what is needed effectively.