Social Media and Internet Activity Investigations

PRUDENTIAL Associates offers two levels of social media and Internet activity research. Very simply, the levels differ in terms of how much labor is expended in gathering and/or analyzing social media posts and Internet activity related to a particular individual or subject. Descriptions of each level and how they differ are as follows; please read them carefully so that you can decide which level would best serve your purposes. Please note that PRUDENTIAL Associates social media investigations are conducted by one of the few recognized Social Media Intelligence Experts in the country and a veteran law enforcement officer.

Level One: Social media and Internet activity research consists of PRUDENTIAL Associates (Certified Social Media Intelligence Expert) gathering all open source material and web-based information by or about a subject (person or corporation) and providing it to the client in an organized manner. The online venues from which information can be collected include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Tumblr, Google+, and a multitude of other blogging and general World Wide Web sites.

Level Two: Social media and Internet activity research consists of all activities listed in level one, as well as an exhaustive and expert analysis of all material gathered. This analysis includes searching for topics or writings consistent with the search criteria specified by the client. Common criteria could consist of writings by the subject of a hostile/threatening nature, racially inflammatory material, material alluding to or advocating criminal and/or other inappropriate activity, writings or material indicating association by the subject with groups or organizations with views inconsistent with, or counter to, the public’s best interests, etc. Other search criteria could include identifying any posts by the subject of material which could be considered proprietary or owned by others and inappropriate for disclosure by the subject in a public forum; posts that incite others to act in a manner inconsistent with public norms and accepted behaviors; and/or writings or material inconsistent with representations made by the subject to the client’s company (lies, falsehoods, fraudulent representations). This is a labor-intensive project when related to just about any subject with any online presence.

Monitoring: In addition to the levels of investigation specified above, PRUDENTIAL Associates offers monitoring of selected accounts to capture relevant material on an ongoing basis, over a client-specified period of time.  Monitoring can cover any period of hours, days, or months desired by client.

Scope: As the buyer of investigative services relating to social media, you need to know, and accurately convey, your desired scope regarding the research. The way you exert a measure of control over the overall cost of the investigation is by clearly defining the scope and purpose of the task. Investigative work of this kind is labor intensive, especially when done correctly and thoroughly. When assigning this kind of investigative project, you (the client) are required to clearly spell out in writing the objective and relevant scope.

Here are some scope examples, descending from the most comprehensive/labor intensive to least.

  1. Research, identify, document, and preserve (to the extent possible) ALL instances of social media online presence (accounts) for the subject, for use as evidence. Includes the capture of all case specific and relevant content and communications from all accounts in as comprehensive a measure and form as possible. Case specific and relevant search criteria must be provided by client at case assignment.
  2. Research, identify, document, and preserve (to the extent possible) ALL instances of social media online presence (accounts) for the subject, for use as evidence. Includes the capture of content and communications from all accounts in as comprehensive a measure and form as possible. This is typically done using analytic software.
  3. Research, identify, and document all instances of social media online presence (accounts) for the subject. This level provides links to identified accounts and perhaps some basic screen capture material; however, this does not extend to capturing content and/or communications from them. This is typically done using analytic software.

Examples of Case Specifics and Relevancy:

Background Checks: There are instances of pictures being posted to social media accounts depicting criminal activity, associating with and/or identifying with certain people or groups or interest. The desire for such information could drive the decision for either a level 1 or 2 social media investigation.

Child Custody or Court Case: One might want to ascertain if there is evidence of conduct inconsistent with that of a responsible parent or guardian, in graphic form or communications. The desire for such information could drive the decision for either a level 1 or 2 social media investigation.

Family Law Court Case: One might want to ascertain the identity of persons who may be valuable as witnesses. A level 1 social media investigation might be of sufficient scope for this purpose.

Identification: This pertains to cases in which you (the client) need to know what accounts exist for a given individual, group, or organization so that information/data can be reviewed within those accounts and/or so that an attorney may subpoena the content. A level 1 social media investigation would be a sufficient scope for this purpose.

Cost:

The cost of social media investigative services varies from case to case and is driven by all of the factors discussed above. Contact us via email or phone to discuss your needs, and we will be happy to provide an estimate and other cost related concepts, such as required retainer amount.

Disclaimer: No social media or Internet activity research is guaranteed to be 100% complete and to have documented every single mention of or by a given subject. The vastness and nearly infinite number of repositories of data connected to the Internet make it impossible for such a guarantee to honestly be made by a provider of such research. Therefore, no such representation is made by PRUDENTIAL Associates, nor should it be interpreted from any service description or verbal communication with our company representatives.