This article needs to be updated. Please update this to reflect recent events or newly available information. (January 2020)

Social network services are increasingly being used in legal and criminal investigations. Information posted on sites such as Instagram, Orkut, and Facebook has been used by police and university officials to prosecute users of said sites. In some situations, content posted on Myspace has been used in court to determine an appropriate sentence based on a defendant's attitude.[1]

The U.S. DOT National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made federal grants available to states to train law enforcement officers to use social media sites to identify events that may result in impaired driving or consumption by minors. As of 2012, Michigan spent over $4.5 million through this program, and has trained over 100 local police officers to use social media sites to identify and target events.[2]

Social media can be used as an investigative tool to obtain probable cause for a search warrant. So far, this procedure has not been disputed in court because digital law has lagged behind technological progress. Agencies can surveil social media sites via software programs, such as X1 Social Discovery, MediaSonar, and Geofeedia.[3]

Facebook

Facebook, a social network service, is increasingly being used by school administrations and law enforcement agencies as a source of evidence against student users. The site, a popular online destination for college students, allows users to create profile pages with personal details. In the early years of the site, these pages could be viewed by other registered users from the same school, including resident assistants, campus police, or others who signed up for the service. The user privileges and terms of service of the site have since been changed to allow users to control who has the ability to view their content.

Recent disciplinary actions against students based on information made available on Facebook has spurred debate over the legality and ethics of school administrators' harvesting such information. Facebook's Terms of Use specify that "the website is available for your personal, noncommercial use only", misleading some to believe that college administrators and police may not use the site for conducting investigations. However, Facebook spokespeople have made clear that Facebook is a public forum and all information published on the site should be presumed available to the general public, school administrators included. Legal experts agree that public information sources such as Facebook can be legally used in criminal or other investigations.[4]

In the aftermath of the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup riot, community participation in assisting police to identify the rioters has been described as unprecedented.[5] Police admitted to being overwhelmed by the amount of evidence provided by social media.[6]

Alcohol policy violations

It has become increasingly common for colleges and universities to use Facebook to investigate underage drinking and violations of dry campus policies. Students who violate these policies may be discovered through photographs of illicit drinking behavior, membership in drinking-related groups, or party information posted on the Facebook website. Some examples of such investigations are listed below:

Other investigations


Student government

Cyber-bullying

Facebook and other social networking sites are being used to bring bullying outside of school. Students are being targeted on the internet and even mobile devices. A new strategy to catch cyber-bullies is being implemented in Reading, Berkshire:

Indian law addresses some of the components of cyber-bullying. However, the perpetrators are children and therefore alternatives to criminalization and other policies should be adopted.[48]

Myspace

See also

References

  1. ^ "TCourt Case Decision Reveals Dangers of Networking Sites". 2007-02-28. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  2. ^ "Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning 2012 Annual Evaluation Report (pp. 21)" (PDF). 2012. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
  3. ^ "How Law Enforcement Uses Social Media as an Investigation Tool". 2018-06-29. Retrieved 2020-03-21.
  4. ^ "The Facebook: not just for students". 2005-11-03. Retrieved 2006-10-14.
  5. ^ "Vancouver riots 2011: Crown to look at potential charges". Global News. 2011-06-20. Archived from the original on 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  6. ^ "Police overwhelmed by social media evidence". CBC News. 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
  7. ^ "NCSU Students Face Underage Drinking Charges Due To Online Photos". WRAL.com. October 29, 2005. Archived from the original on October 31, 2005.
  8. ^ Chalfant, Drew (November 2, 2005). "Facebook postings, photos incriminate dorm party-goers". The Northerner.
  9. ^ "Officials at institutions nationwide using Facebook site". TMCNet.com. March 29, 2006.
  10. ^ Pescovitz, David (January 9, 2006). "Facebook prank on police". Boing Boing. Archived from the original on January 11, 2006.
  11. ^ BennyChains. "How much cake is an inordinate amount? Because I can eat a lot of cake. CASE CLOSED" (CollegeHumor picture). Archived from the original on October 4, 2005.
  12. ^ Antenen, Jay (December 3, 2004). "Football Coaches Living, Partying in Rains Equipment Room". The Student Life. Vol. 116 no. 10. Archived from the original on December 13, 2004.
  13. ^ Schweitzer, Sarah (2005-10-06). "Fisher College expels student over website entries". The Boston Globe.
  14. ^ Kennedy, Owen (November 17, 2005). "Facebook involved in possible Honor Pledge violation". Kansas State Collegian. Archived from the original on March 19, 2006.
  15. ^ Lash, Devon (November 10, 2005). "Site used to aid investigations". The Digital Collegian. Archived from the original on December 8, 2005.
  16. ^ Pepitone, Julianne (January 25, 2006). "SU officials' use of Facebook creates problems for students with a false sense of privacy". The Daily Orange. Archived from the original on November 18, 2007.
  17. ^ Pepitone, Julianne (February 7, 2006). "Kicked in the face: Freshmen claim Judicial Affairs threatened expulsion for creation of Facebook group critical of TA". The Daily Orange.
  18. ^ Wolfe, Graham (February 9, 2006). "Student arrested for inducing panic with Facebook picture". The Miami Student. Retrieved 20 May 2015.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "Opinion: Students should voice their rights in the classroom". The Louisville Cardinal. February 6, 2006. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011.
  20. ^ Amos, Meredith (March 1, 2006). "Baylor U. students outraged by off-campus party". The Lariat.
  21. ^ Larsen, Lindsay (February 2, 2007). "U. Connecticut law school party causes stir over stereotypes". The Daily Campus.
  22. ^ Flyer News - Junior unfairly blamed for Lowesfest problems
  23. ^ a b c Locke, Mandy (July 15, 2007). "Photos online brew trouble". Raleigh News and Observer. Archived from the original on 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  24. ^ Martinez, Kiyoshi (August 1, 2006). "Student arrested after police Facebook him". The Daily Illini. Archived from the original on May 16, 2007.
  25. ^ Jadhav, Adam; Shane Graber (October 5, 2006). "Students learning dangers of Web 'confession'; Sophomore may be expelled for Facebook page". The Record.
  26. ^ "Former deputy to benefit from charity tournament". WWAY NewsChannel 3. March 28, 2007. Archived from the original on April 1, 2007.
  27. ^ Czekaj, Laura (January 17, 2007). "Workers fired over Internet postings". CANOE. Archived from the original on 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
  28. ^ Mercer, David (January 10, 2007). "University of Ill. Investigates threats against American Indian". Associated Press.
  29. ^ "11 Ontario students suspended for 'cyber-bullying'". CBC News. 2007-02-12. Archived from the original on 2007-02-14.
  30. ^ Carra, Nicholas (February 16, 2007). "Two Arrests Made". The Daily Campus. Archived from the original on February 19, 2007.
  31. ^ Merritt, Grace E. (Feb 16, 2007). "Arrests in hit-and-run, LI teen charged with causing death of a student at UConn; passenger, also from LI, faces charges, too". Newsday. Archived from the original on Feb 16, 2007.
  32. ^ Merritt, Grace E. (February 16, 2007). "My God. What Do I Do?". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  33. ^ Amy L. Ashbridge (April 26, 2007). "SUNY Cobleskill student says his Internet posting troubled officials". The Daily Star. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011.
  34. ^ Reid, Michael D. (November 6, 2008). "'Dexter' murder case raises alarms over pop-culture violence".
  35. ^ "Bizarre slaying mirrored TV show: police". The National Post.[dead link]
  36. ^ "Police embrace social media as crime-fighting tool". 2012-08-30. Retrieved 2020-03-21.
  37. ^ Joshua Rhett Miller (2009-07-29). "Graphic Photo Posted on Facebook at Center of Pending Lawsuit". Fox News. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  38. ^ "Depressed woman loses benefits over Facebook photos". CBC News. 2009-11-21. Archived from the original on 2009-11-21.
  39. ^ "Woman loses benefits over Facebook pics". NBC News. November 23, 2009.
  40. ^ Banerjee, Sidhartha (November 23, 2009). "Quebec woman's Facebook insurance battle highlights need for online prudence". The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on November 26, 2009.
  41. ^ Butler, Don (31 October 2010). "Facebook helps store owner track thief". Yahoo News. Archived from the original on 2010-11-04. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
  42. ^ http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/hashtag/content/616746/pastor-hokage-fb-groups-trading-lewd-photos-of-women-exposed/story/
  43. ^ http://kickerdaily.com/posts/2017/07/ambag-pa-more-nbi-investigating-4-pastor-hokage-suspects-amid-complaints/
  44. ^ http://kickerdaily.com/posts/2017/07/woman-harassed-by-pastor-hokage-fb-group-comes-out-files-complaint/
  45. ^ Wissner, Jennie (October 3, 2005), "Accused students defend actions: Final results will not be released until NEC finishes deliberations", The Daily Pennsylvanian, archived from the original on May 27, 2015, retrieved May 27, 2015
  46. ^ Thames Valley Police to use Facebook to catch cyberbullies (Wired UK) Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine
  47. ^ No Facebook! Bangalore schools ask students to delete profiles | NDTV.com
  48. ^ Cyber-Bullying in India: The Search for a Solution - Why the Current Law in India is Ill-Equipped by Mukta Batra :: SSRN
  49. ^ a b Lindsay, Sue (April 5, 2006). "Boy who posed with guns convicted". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on April 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01.