In recent years, the Internet and the public’s widespread use of social networking sites has changed the people communicate and share information about themselves. Social networking sites have given individuals the ability to learn more about their “friends” without directly communicating. People frequently post information on these sits about mundane aspects of their lives that they would probably not share with someone during a verbal conversation. This presents employers, law enforcement and investigators with an opportunity to informally investigate workplace violence incidents and witnesses.

Here are a few statistics:

  • 91% of agencies report use of some form of social media;
  • 66.8% of agencies report having a Facebook page;
  • 70.0% of agencies report using social media for criminal investigations; and
  • 76.0% of agencies report using social media to solicit tips.

How Might You Use Social Media as An Investigative Tool:

  • Investigating complaints;
  • Learning about complainants;
  • Learning about witnesses; and
  • Learning about the accused.

Why Investigators Should Pay Attention to Social Media:

  • 88% of people under age 30 use a social network;
  • LinkedIn has 500 million users; Twitter has 336 million users;
  • There are over 440 million individual blogs; and
  • Facebook has over 2.19 billion active users.

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