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How Social Media Has Changed Criminal Investigations

author-img By Abdul Mondal 5 Mins Read 11 September 2023

Social Media Has Changed Criminal Investigations-min

Social media has changed the way many crimes are solved because so much insight into the daily lives of everyday people is available to anyone that can perform a few simple searches.

Social media has significantly impacted how a Top Cook County Criminal Lawyer and law enforcement conduct investigations. Information can be gathered by computer rather than through in-person interviews and traveling to different locations. People share a lot on social media, so they must be more open about this information when they are questioned in person.

People Share Many Details Online

Insights into what is going on in the lives of others can offer proof and clues that can make or break a civil or criminal case. People share more details than ever, even if they don’t realize how much they share. The real personalities of both victims and perpetrators can shine through via the pictures, reshapes, and comments they choose to let everyone see.

Perpetrators Expose Their Plans Online

Many of us are guilty of posting complaints and rants at one time or another. In most cases, these are just messages and posts used to release anger and move on, but sometimes they are more sinister. Opening up on social media can make it clear just how angry or upset a person was before the crime or illustrate the beginning of the train of thought that led to a bad outcome.

Threats, Bullying And Harassment Are Common Online

Unfortunately, in cases where a crime has been committed in real life, there are often threats or indications of conflict on social media. Bullying, threats, and sexual harassment are prevalent on social media. While perpetrators can be blocked or reported, this doesn’t always stop the harassment due to the ability to create alternative profiles or view information that victims allow the public to see.

Threats and harassment via social media can be used as evidence in court. In some cases, the social media platform itself may be asked to provide archived information.

Smart Criminals Keep A Clean Profile

While many personality types like to share information, there are other perpetrators that have little or no social media presence. Not having any presence on social media at all without a really good reason for it can be seen as somewhat suspicious in modern times. It can make a person appear to be keeping a low profile because they have things to hide if they don’t even have a basic social media profile to interact with friends and family. This is especially true if a person is of any age besides the elderly.

Perpetrators Can Get Attention On Social Media

Social media is the easiest way for criminals to gain a large audience without a lot of promotional effort. Criminals that perpetuate serious crimes such as school shootings or terrorist acts sometimes livestream or post short manifestos on social media. These videos can be used as evidence in court or help law enforcement to figure out who has committed the crimes they are investigating.

While most live streams are stopped quickly, some last throughout a large part of the crime, resulting in iron-clad evidence that can be used for quick prosecution if the criminal is apprehended alive.

Social Media Platforms Often Work With Law Enforcement

Criminals may relish the fame and attention they receive when they commit a crime. Their social media profiles are often found by the public rather quickly. Law enforcement often asks social media platforms to make the profiles unavailable to the public as soon as possible to reduce the likelihood of an investigation being interfered with until more is known.

Law enforcement may also choose to make profiles unavailable so that perpetrators lose access to the audience they crave so much. Keeping some information private can also prevent copycat acts from occurring in response to the crime.

Criminal Acts May Be Shared Online

One thing that is making it harder and harder for criminals to get away with crimes is that everyone has a cell phone capable of decent-quality video. The minute something starts happening in an area with even a modest population, there is likely more than one cell phone pulled out of a pocket and set to record. This means that when crimes happen, there is a high likelihood of video evidence being available that can be presented in court, leading to a fast conviction and compensation for victims. This type of evidence can significantly reduce the cost and length of trials, leading to a more efficient justice system.

Lawyers Can Use Social Media For Evidence

Whether you are enrolled in an online law degree program, such as the one offered by the University of Cleveland, or are already a practicing attorney, it is important to learn how to utilize social media to help win your cases. The University of Cleveland offers an up-to-date and modern curriculum that will prepare you for the modern reality of acquiring evidence from the comfort of your desk. This online Juris Doctor program is available part-time and combines online coursework with externships, clinic programs, and on-campus residencies to provide students with the skills and expertise to excel in the field of law.


Social media has reduced the time it takes to gather evidence and has made getting evidence much safer as officers and investigators can acquire information while performing less field work. From a crime prevention viewpoint, due to social media and the fact that so many people have cell phones on them at all times, criminals have to be a lot smarter to get away with crimes.

Over the years, social media is expected to see even more use in the court system as evidence. It is already common practice for investigators, lawyers, and law enforcement to check out the social media profiles of any suspect.

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Abdul Mondal

Abdul Aziz Mondol is a professional blogger who is having a colossal interest in writing blogs and other jones of calligraphies. In terms of his professional commitments, he loves to share content related to business, finance, technology, and the gaming niche.

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