Social media platforms go in and out of style very quickly. When technology is moving that fast, it’s easy to forget about the one really popular platform everyone had to be on last year, but now seems no one is using. However, chances are, a large number of people are still using those platforms and posting content that may be relevant in case research or as evidence.
According to our e-Discovery Trends 2017: Web Content Collection report, the least searched social media platforms are most likely ones you’ve heard about or even used, but they no longer dominate the social space like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
You could be missing opportunities to discover relevant content by not searching these less popular social media platforms. Here are the top seven platforms that made the bottom of our litigators’ lists to search on for discoverable evidence, and why they could be relevant for your next case:
Yelp is a leader in local business reviews and in 2016, it had over 95 million active reviews across the website. The most common feature related to small business cases that legal professionals could leverage are the business profiles and the reviews and comments on the business pages, which could encompass replies from both the business owner and customers. In addition, Yelp’s “Claimed” feature for business pages could help in determining whether or not a business has established itself as a company.
Pinterest is an online bulletin board where users can digitally pin or save content they like (i.e. images, videos, GIFs). In 2017, Pinterest reported an average of 175 million active users worldwide. Pinterest allows accounts for both personal users and businesses. Common features that might hold discoverable content include the individual pins and boards of images, videos, etc., and their corresponding comments.
Reddit is a news aggregate and community forum for niche topics (science, gaming, movies, music, books, fitness, food, image-sharing), where over 500 million monthly visitors post and vote on content. Content is categorized into “subreddits” where each have links, images, text posts and comments related to the category topic. Reddit is also known to be a place where users schedule social meetups at local areas, so this may help when gathering evidence related to an alibi.
Similar to YouTube, but not as popular, Vimeo is a high-quality video-sharing platform that allows users to upload, share and view videos, mostly of an artistic nature. Legal professionals will want to look at the videos, comments, number of views and likes, and the uploader’s profile when searching Vimeo. It’s worth noting that Vimeo has had piracy, copyright infringement and controversial pornographic content issues in the past. If working on a case relevant to those areas, Vimeo might be a good platform to search.
A popular microblogging site, Tumblr reported in 2017 that the platform hosts over 350 million blogs. While the blog topics range, Tumblr has been known to have issues with dangerous content related to pornography, self-harm and suicides. For cases, the blogs themselves, and the associated posts, comments, images and videos, would be a good place to start. Also, some blog owners allow users/readers to ask questions by way of direct messages as an anonymous or public identity.
Myspace is a social networking platform, similar to Facebook, but it’s become popular for pop culture and music. Like Facebook, Myspace has many similar features that could be relevant in case research or evidence, such as personal profiles, videos, pictures, posts and a user’s network of friends.
Flickr, a photo sharing network, hosts billions of images, where many photos from Flickr are sourced to be used on other websites, like blogs. The platform allows viewers to download content without registering, but users must have a registered account to upload content to Flickr. The main image features are called photostreams and albums, where users can make comments and mark images as a “fave,” or favorite. There are additional image details like titles, captions and EXIF image metadata, that can be helpful when looking for discoverable evidence. Within an uploader’s profile, you can see information on other galleries that an image is being shown in, the groups an uploader belongs to, as well as the images they’ve tagged as their favorites.
When discoverable evidence is found online, it’s vital to collect it as soon as you see it, and in a way that’s defensible. Page Vault On Demand can help with all your social media collections and makes it easy for legal professionals to obtain defensible captures by providing key metadata and affidavits.