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Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat have revolutionised the way we communicate. Social media has also become a tool for us to document our daily lives. Social media has penetrated most aspects of our lives in a very real way, where others can peek into and see what we are doing, our likes and dislikes, and a great deal about the kind of person we are is out in the open for others to see. All age groups are sort of addicted to putting up their lives on the social media, from a six years old to a seventy years old, you will find all your family members waving out on the social media.
People use the social media platform to stay connected with each other, Businesses use it for networking, Media uses it to publish news to keep people updated about current events, similarly, law enforcement is also using the power of social media to investigate the crime.
Observing social media interaction and listening to it has helped the law enforcement a great deal in solving crimes faster. A specific social media monitoring platform is able to help the force identify patterns, behaviours, identify sentiment, understand tonality and language that can tie the culprit to the crime. In fact, social media analytics can not only help the law enforcement to detect crime but also prevent it by exposing illegal activities.
Law enforcement, in recent times, use social media analytics to track and conduct, sting operations, tracking criminal geolocation, gathering evidence, for community outreach, alerting the public, recruitment. According to a survey conducted a few years ago,
80% of the contacted respondents said that they use social media to conduct investigations, 60% said social media analytics helps solve crimes more quickly, 10% of those said they have received formal training in social media analytics, thus making social media analytics as their prime route while investigating crime.
Hence social media and crime solving become an ideal match, but there are some factors that need to be monitored.
As far as social media is being used for investigation and tracking criminal incidents it’s excellent. However, along with the positives, there is also a slight flip side where investigations can get corrupted on social media analytics. Social media can also become a tool for victim blaming, it is also a tool through which the friends and family of the victim can also be subject to public outrage. Trials by social media is another menace that comes in the way of those working in the criminal justice system. However so far the benefits of using social media analytics for investigations, outweigh the negatives. And as far as law enforcement is using social media to solve crimes as well as build rapport with the public they can continue to do so.
In future, as platforms evolve, there will be new benefits and also challenges in social media that will come up. We need to understand that social media is here to stay and we need to be innovative in our thoughts to understand this phenomenon, capitalise on its benefits and prevent or minimise the ill effects and take advantage of the platform.
To learn more about the Analytics watch this space until next week for the big news!