Industry News

Facebook Helps To Find Felons

At MeloTel, we have often heralded the use of social media to promote businesses. In many ways, sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become mandatory tools in the marketing strategies of companies of all sizes. The sites, of course, are also used by hundreds of millions of users worldwide for personal reasons.

Due to that fact, companies who are looking to hire new staff have taken to the Facebook pages of their candidates is an increasingly-popular new form of reference checking. Just last week, we blogged about this fact and noted that in some cases, companies have gone so far as to ask job seekers for their Facebook passwords.

Facebook executives, however, have been reported as saying that no one should give out their Facebook passwords to anyone. Obviously, doing so puts one’s privacy at risk. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that Facebook pages won’t be looked at to get clues about a person’s habits, interests and other personality traits.

In fact, yesterday Roger Yu of USA Today reported that police forces are taking to Facebook to locate helpful information about crime suspects. He writes that “social media has become a mainstay in police work. Police departments and federal agencies are aggressively seeking information from social-media companies.”

In addition, police forces are actually increasing their budgets to provide training to individuals whose jobs it will be to investigate suspects online. In many cases, both criminals and victims apparently leave clues on their Facebook and Twitter profiles that help lead towards the solving of crimes.

According to Yu, a survey conducted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police found that “about 88 per cent of law enforcement agencies have used social-media sites — Facebook is the most frequently used, while Twitter is gaining — in monitoring and investigative work.”

But what happens if a Facebook page gets shut down in the middle of an investigation? Yu writes that Facebook discloses on its website the requirements for law enforcement agencies to obtain content. In many cases, a subpoena or warrant showing probable cause is necessary for stored content including messages and photos to be released.

It goes without saying that social media sites have made a major impact on the world. They have changed how we communicate and how we all perceived. Consider that you are exposing yourself to the public each and every time you are posting on either Facebook or Twitter. Be sure to leave a positive impression!