Preserving Key Evidence – As social media use continues to rise, social media content (SMC) is replacing email as key evidence of intent, animus, damages, and disability in all types of cases (criminal, family, personal injury, government claims).

Collecting SMC has been considered a daunting task. With so many social media platforms out there, how could one possibly collect all relevant content? Let’s break it down into some easy steps for a few of the top social media sites: Facebook, Google, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

There’s no way around it – this two step process is time consuming. Requesting the content is the easy part, but downloading can take a few minutes to several hours. All you need is your client’s username, password, and written consent. Planning to have your client download their information for you? Think again – by having your client collect the SMC, the chain of custody weakens.

Facebook: After logging in, go to Settings > Your Facebook Information > Download Your information. Select the data (posts, photos, comments, etc.) and the date range for the content you need. Once the data is ready for download, Facebook will send the account holder an email. The option to Access Your Information is also available if you would like to review the content before downloading.

Google: Login to your client’s account. Select Data and Personalization > Download Your Data. Choose what data is needed and the archival format (ex: zip). Google will send an email to the account holder once the data is ready for download.

Instagram: Login to the user’s profile.  Select Settings (the gear icon)  > Privacy and Security > Request Download. The data will be in JSON format inside a compressed file.  Decompress teh file and view using a JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) parser.

LinkedIn: Login and select Me > Settings and Privacy. Under the privacy tab, click on Getting a Copy of your Data to choose the necessary data.

Preserving key evidence – need to collect social media content from Twitter or Snapchat? Click here.

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