Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates launched Facebook on February 4, 2004. Initially, the service was limited to Harvard students, but it quickly expanded to other Boston-area colleges, Ivy League schools and then other colleges. In September of 2005, Facebook expanded to allow high school students, ages 13 and over, to join. Facebook finally became open to the general public on September 26, 2006. There is no fee to join this service.

Facebook is currently the largest social networking site, boasting over 2.20 billion users and more than 1.15 billion daily users as of July 2018. The average person has 338 “friends” with whom they share information. Perhaps the most interesting statistic about Facebook is that the fastest growing demographic of users is currently individuals 18-29 years old. Facebook profiles have areas of standard profile information, but users are not forced to provide anything more than a name and a valid e-mail address to join. Although users may adjust privacy settings, the default setting is to allow all users to search for you and view all content posted on your profile.

Currently, a Facebook Profile may contain the following information:

Profile picture

  • Wall area where the user and user’s friends can post short messages
  • Status messages;
  • Wall posts from friends; and
  • Activity tracking
  • Videos
  • Notes
  • Friends
  • Friends in Common
  • Info Tab
  • Basic Information
  • Contact Information
  • Likes and Interests
  • Education; and
  • Work
  • Photos
  • Photo Albums;
  • Tagged Photos; and
  • Profile Pictures
  • Various Third Party Applications

This type of information may be beneficial for any conducting workplace violence investigations. For example, a subject may regularly post status messages on his Wall identifying his daily activities, that he/she hates their boss, or that they want to shoot up office.

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