Social media investigations are a powerful tool for gathering information from various online sources. They can help us uncover hidden connections, identify potential threats, and verify facts and claims.
At TAL Global, we have been using social media investigations as part of our comprehensive security and risk management solutions for our clients. We have decided to offer this service as a standalone option, or as an integral component of our other services, such as security assessments, workplace violence threat assessments, and more.
However, some of our clients – and prospective clients – wonder why we are doing this. Why are we providing social media investigations as an additional service?
To answer this, here are some examples of how social media investigations have solved crimes:
Raderius Glenn Collins
A Florida burglar posted a Facebook video bragging about a $500,000 jewelry heist. Raderius Glenn Collins was arrested in Pinecrest, Florida after he uploaded a 7-minute video to Facebook in May. He may have been happy to see his video get 3,000 views, but probably unhappy one of them was the police. Reuters
Social media played a role in the conviction of a Stanford student of sexual assault on an unconscious woman. Brock Turner allegedly took pictures of the naked woman and posted them on social media. While the post was deleted, during a social media investigation, police found responses to the posting on Turner’s phone. The New Yorker
Marina Lorina and Raymond Gates
Marina Lorina and Raymond Gates were charged with rape, kidnap, sexual battery and pandering sexual matter involving a minor after streaming an incident live on Periscope. The stream was allegedly taken by Lorina, showing Gates raping a girl. More here.
A social media investigation found posted images of a naked woman, killed by apparent strangulation, on an internet forum. The woman was Amber Coplin, and the post led to the arrest of David Kalac. It was a particularly gruesome murder. The body was left to be found by the women’s 13-year-old son and a post on social media read: “Turns out it’s harder to strangle someone to death than it looks on the movies. She fought so damn hard.” Huff Post
Maxwell Marion Morton
Pennsylvania teenager Maxwell Marion Morton was charged with first-degree murder after a social media investigation found he had posted a picture of a classmate that had been shot in the face and took a selfie, which he shared via SnapChat. Yahoo News.
Seventy-one arrested in gang sweep
Police in Cincinnati arrested seventy-one people after a 9-month investigation using a social media investigation to identify key gang members. Police were able to establish a link between the suspects and their crimes. More Here.
While most of these incidents involved crimes, social media investigations can be just as powerful for organizations, especially when considering hiring an individual, working with a new vendor, or partnering with another organization.