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Solving Crime with Social Media [Infographic]


Planning on organizing a big heist today? Well, be sure not to announce it on Twitter or Facebook! Ok, sure, that sounds silly. But, you’d be amazed at how effectively law enforcement is able to use social media to gather evidence, establish probable cause, or identify suspects. This nifty infographic from Backgroundcheck.org sheds some light on how the law is tapping into the social web.

Solving Crime with Social Media
Compiled By: BackgroundCheck.org


  • Constance Mettler

    Not only can social media help solve crimes, online communities can also. Recently members of ArtFairInsiders.com banded together in a discussion on the site to track down a thief and bring her to justice: http://www.artfairinsiders.com/forum/topics/minnesota-art-shows-beware

    • Amber Avines

      Good example, Constance. Yes! Social media can bring people together in a heartbeat, can’t it?

      • Constance Mettler

        I have to tell you, Amber, that I was really psyched about this. The artists shared information in a discussion about the culprit, gave identifying details, contacted the police, updated each other on the “bust” and are now receiving their stolen goods back. I would have never expected this to have happened.

  • Domainwright

    Social Media is now used as a fact finding and researching tool by many institutions and establishments when it comes to ivestigations and character referancing.
    Companies do history checks on prospective employees and as stated in this informative blog, to trace criminal ativities.

  • start up business blog

    Social Media is a big help in every aspect, from reuniting people, businesses, marketing and in crime (as the infographic stated). This is the reason why people always depend on social media because they know they can get a lot benefits and tools for helping them with something they need.

  • Michael

    Wow Amber,

    This is great.

    I know that some government are using social media to update traffic and politicians update. I never know that it can also help solve crime. Just hope that more law enforcement can read this and help their work.

    In Malaysia, we have this app (not so much of social media) which can you can contact the police force immediately when you are being victimized, to report a crime or injured by just a tap on the button and the police or help will be dispatch to your location base on your phone GPS which I think is amazing.

    Also, if I can get a point out, I hope that the law enforcement will give more exposure on their social media effort and the platform they are using. Just in the case of Malaysia Police force, they have their facebook page but to only 180k likes and generally less than 1k likes per post and generally 100-200 comments which I think those numbers can be increase if there is more effort being put in.

    The worst thing is that they just posted the update and hardly participate in the comments. There is no engagement which is a total waste of the purpose of social media and being law enforcement page without feedback when someone tried to get some confirmation about the suspect he saw, you can imagine how that hurt law enforcement image.


    • Amber Avines

      HI Michael,

      A lot of companies, and government agencies, seem to overlook the engagement part. I think the two-way dialogue is the most important element, but I think it scares lots of businesses.

      The app sounds interesting! I’ll have to look into that.

      • Michael

        Hi Amber,

        I have to agree with you that it is the 2-way dialogue that is the most important element. I guess many are scare to see or think they might comment on the wrong thing and have to be responsible to it.


        • Amber Avines

          Yep! I think the fear also lies with not knowing what people will say. Will they complain? Oh no! What do we do now??

  • Terry

    I think it’s pointless to restrict the usage of social media in work. There’s not only been multiple studies about the benefits of distractions in work (more productivity in a shorter time) but also everybody has a mobile device now. So they have access to whatever they want (maybe with exclusion of data heavy content) all the time anyway. Jog on with filters 😉

  • Robert

    We were able to recover a stolen racecar trailer in one day thanks to Facebook. when information spreads faster than criminals can work, it makes things hard for them.

  • George

    Social media helps a lot to identify the victims who are criminals. We should addicted to the latest technology and use latest apps.

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