Analyzing social media accounts for legal purposes.
Social Media Investigations (sometimes referred to as SMI) are performed by skilled and trained professionals that use a series of methodologies, software and IT tools to gather (preserve), analyze and present information from social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other such sites.
How are Social Media Investigations related to eDiscovery?
In many cases, social media investigations occur as part of the fact-finding in the larger eDiscovery phase of litigation. Along with the typical information such as emails and electronic documents, some cases benefit from investigations performed on social media accounts of individuals or companies.
For example, claims managers employed by insurance companies may find it a useful tool when analyzing insurance claims to ensure payouts are commensurate with the claim. Insurance companies have been one of the pioneers in using social media investigations to reduce fraudulent claims and level-set previously overpaid claims.
More recently, social media investigations have also been used as part of the Employee Background Check process before hiring candidates for certain jobs. The results of social media investigations are typically provided by forensic examiners to attorneys as reports. The detail of those reports is uploaded to document management platforms for subsequent attorney review as part of a legal proceeding or, in the case of the example described, as part of a claims settlement negotiation.