Executive Summaries » Social Media Analysis for Investigations and Trials

Social Media Analysis for Investigations and Trials

February 24, 2016

Research into what people post on social media sites, and with whom they communicate, is increasingly being used in corporate investigations and trial intelligence. The past couple of years has seen the emergence of analytics tools that can gather information from publicly available social media content, enabling attorneys and investigators to dig into social media profiles and actions quickly, economically and legally.

These tools can provide information of once unattainable richness and scope to support internal investigations, M&A due diligence, litigation, jury selection, and assessment of insider and outsider threats to the business. New commercially available data analytics, or “sensing” tools, and innovative investigative approaches are improving and accelerating the process.

Once a profile or web presence is identified, analysts can analyze the activity level of each user. Online socializing and interactions generate masses of data, and can offer valuable insights into the subjects of an investigation or the parties to a legal action. The challenge lies in navigating the structures and controls of social sites to extract relevant information from the sea of social data.

One of social media analytics’ most important powers is the ability to map the relationships of an investigation target, be it a potential juror, witness, attorney or other person of interest. Analyzing multiple social media platforms to capture the nature of the person’s relationships – for example whether individuals are friends, family, business associates, or combinations of these – can be invaluable information for legal teams.

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