The growth of social media has changed virtually everything, impacting human interactions in ways we couldn’t have imagined. It offers a platform for networking, social interactions, and marketing. Nowadays, lawyers and investigation teams use it to collect defensible social media evidence for litigations and investigations.
Social media thrives on images and videos, synonymous with teens and Gen Z. Video is trendy on TikTok and YouTube, while images are popular on Instagram. Yet, both make great pieces of evidence and are defensible in court. They feature metadata and source code, which are vital in capturing, preserving, and authenticating digital evidence.
Defensible Social Media Evidence Collection
It’s not uncommon for investigators to take screenshots of photos or download videos when gathering evidence. Unfortunately, screenshots are not defensible in court because they can’t be authenticated. Plus, such images can easily be manipulated using software like Photoshop.
Instead, you need to collect and preserve the digital evidence exactly as it was at the time of capture. This means the image or video must include its source code and metadata, which are crucial to ensuring the defensibility of social media evidence.
Every piece of online content features a digital footprint, which investigators can analyze to collect details, such as date, location, time, URL, and username. SMI Aware captures and preserves these details to ensure the originality and defensibility of videos or images in court.
Gathering defensible digital evidence requires human input and technology to ensure data accuracy and preservation. While social media is categorized as open-source Intelligence (OSINT), it doesn’t mean you can search for the evidence yourself. The D.I.Y. approach is prone to false positives and can be unethical.
SMI Aware leverages proprietary search technology to eliminate search bias and save time. The software curates and analyzes valuable information on a subject. It also handles the search and collection process to ensure privacy and anonymity without tipping off the subject.
We complement the technology with Certified Social Media Intelligence Experts (CSMIE) to ensure accurate information. Our analysts eliminate false positives and gather scope-focused data to guarantee quality and accuracy. This tech/human approach allows us to ensure consistency, ethical processes, data integrity, and chain of custody.
Collect Quality Social Media Evidence with SMI Aware
Just because you can download videos online or take screenshots of images doesn’t mean they are defensible in court. Collecting court-defensible data is more than that — you’ll need to validate and authenticate your evidence for it to be considered in court.
Instead, you can work with OSINT experts and e-discovery services to gather quality results and save time if there’s a risk of deletion. Our team collects and preserves information while ensuring the metadata and source code are intact for easy authentication.
Contact us today to learn how SMI Aware can collect and preserve social media evidence and help your legal team preserve digital information.