Monthly Archives: June 2012

Motive for Killings Revealed on Facebook Profile

June 20th, 2012 by

Legal Social Media ResearchIn a shooting rampage in Tusla, Okla., which left three people dead, police looked to Facebook to determine the motive for the shootings. Through Facebook research of the suspects, police found that based on their personal Facebook postings, revenge appeared to be a factor in the shootings, which also may have been racially motivated.

On one suspect’s Facebook page, he has posted that his father’s death was the fault of a black man and used  a racial slur. He also noted the date was the second anniversary of his father’s death.

Quickly capturing this suspect’s public postings, and even private if required by a judge to be accessible, was critical to helping police determine a motive. The page was subsequently taken down within a day.

Step Ahead Social Research can capture information tied to a specific individual so long as it’s been publicly posted on the web. Our research experts combined with our software systems allow us to pull this data, validate it’s the suspect in question, and provide reports to police and law enforcement in a timely fashion. Information that could not have been captured just a few short years ago…


Jurors on Twitter and Facebook Causing Mistrials

June 15th, 2012 by

Juror ResearchThere have been several cases in the news lately of jurors’ social media activity resulting in mistrials or even harsh punishment for the juror. That can mean wasted money for the government and a lost opportunity to convict a guilty criminal.

A Wall Street Journal article noted that judges have removed individuals from a jury, declared a mistrial, held a juror in contempt of court, fined the juror and more for social media misbehaviour.

A famous case involved the “Facebook Five”. Five jurors communicated with one another outside the trial via Facebook, an illegal activity and which caused the mayor to seek a new trial.

In another case, a juror “friended” a defendant in a personal injury case and was held in contempt of court.

A juror who was tweeting during a trial caused another trial to be thrown out.

How do you solve this problem? It’s challenging for the judges, the government and even attorneys to stay on top of the massive amounts of social media data and activity taking place every day but Step Ahead Social Research can effectively manage that task with our software that pulls targeted public data in real time and the analysis of our researchers.

Don’t make a judge’s aide who’s never tweeted monitor Twitter with no efficient means of doing so. And let paralegals spend their time building a case partially from the data we provide.

Outsource your social media research and know that any data you should find will be found and it could save the government the cost of holding another trial and keep a criminal off the streets.