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Introduction to Social Media Investigation

Book Description

If you’re interested in using social media as an investigative tool, Introduction to Social Media Investigation will show you how! Social networks and social media, like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare, are some of the most popular services on the Web, with hundreds of millions of users. The public information that people share on these sites can be valuable for anyone interested in investigating people of interest through open, public sources.

Social media as an investigative device is in its infancy and not well understood. This book presents an overview of social media and discusses special skills and techniques to use when conducting investigations. The book features hands-on tutorials and case studies and offers additional data-gathering techniques.



  • Presents an overview of social media sites, information types, privacy policies, and other general issues relevant to investigating individuals online
  • Discusses the special skills and techniques needed when conducting investigations using social media
  • Includes hands-on tutorials and case studies using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media sites using proven investigative techniques
  • Shows how to gather additional data using advanced techniques such as crowdsourcing, data mining, and network analysis

Table of Contents

  1. Cover image
  2. Title page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Chapter 1: Introduction
    1. Abstract
  8. Chapter 2: Background and basics
    1. Abstract
    2. Investigating on Social Media
    3. A Brief History of Social Media
    4. Types of Content
    5. Categories of Social Media
    6. Current Social Media Landscape
    7. Some Vocabulary
    8. Our Own Target
    9. Privacy: Yours and Others'
    10. Conclusions
  9. Chapter 3: Types of personal information
    1. Abstract
    2. Basic Demographics
    3. Social Connections and Associates
    4. Location Data
    5. Behavior Patterns
    6. Posted Content
    7. What You (Probably) Won't Find
    8. Conclusion
  10. Chapter 4: Privacy controls
    1. Abstract
    2. What are Privacy Controls?
    3. Privacy Controls
    4. Privacy Awareness
    5. Investigating Private Accounts
    6. Conclusions
  11. Chapter 5: Finding people on social media
    1. Abstract
    2. The Importance of Usernames
    3. Finding People
    4. Case Study
    5. Conclusions
  12. Chapter 6: Location data
    1. Abstract
    2. The Lexicon of Locations
    3. Collecting Location Information
    4. Using Location Data
    5. Challenges to Using Location Data
    6. Conclusions
  13. Chapter 7: Legal issues
    1. Abstract
    2. Right to Privacy
    3. Terms of Service
    4. Conclusions
  14. Chapter 8: Facebook
    1. Abstract
    2. Facebook Overview
    3. Finding People
    4. Obtaining Data
    5. Privacy Levels and Access
    6. Case Studies
    7. Conclusion
  15. Chapter 9: Twitter
    1. Abstract
    2. Case Study Paragon: <span xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:epub="http://www.idpf.org/2007/ops" class="italic">Anthony Weiner</span>
    3. Twitter Overview
    4. Finding People
    5. Obtaining Data
    6. Privacy Levels and Access
    7. Case Studies
    8. Conclusions
  16. Chapter 10: Foursquare
    1. Abstract
    2. Description
    3. Finding People
    4. Obtaining Data
    5. Privacy
    6. Case Studies
    7. Conclusions
  17. Chapter 11: Pinterest
    1. Abstract
    2. Description of the Site
    3. User Demographics
    4. Finding People
    5. Obtaining Data
    6. Privacy Levels and Access
    7. Case Studies
    8. Conclusions
  18. Chapter 12: LinkedIn
    1. Abstract
    2. Introduction
    3. User Demographics
    4. Finding People
    5. Obtaining Data
    6. Privacy Levels and Access
    7. Case Studies
    8. Conclusions
  19. Chapter 13: Google +
    1. Abstract
    2. Introduction: Before Google +
    3. Description of the Site
    4. User Demographics
    5. Finding People
    6. Obtaining Data
    7. Privacy Levels and Access
    8. Case Studies
    9. Conclusions
  20. Chapter 14: Tumblr
    1. Abstract
    2. Description of the Site
    3. User Demographics
    4. Finding People
    5. Obtaining Data
    6. Privacy Levels and Access
    7. Case Studies
    8. Conclusions
  21. Chapter 15: Instagram
    1. Abstract
    2. Case Study Paragon: Saladworks
    3. Instagram Overview
    4. Finding People
    5. Obtaining Data
    6. Privacy Levels and Access
    7. Case Studies
    8. Conclusions
  22. Chapter 16: YouTube
    1. Abstract
    2. Case Study Paragon: <span xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:epub="http://www.idpf.org/2007/ops" class="italic">Elliot Rodger</span>
    3. YouTube Overview
    4. Finding People
    5. Obtaining Data
    6. Privacy Levels and Access
    7. Case Studies
    8. Conclusions
  23. Chapter 17: Forums and question and answer sites
    1. Abstract
    2. Description of <span xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:epub="http://www.idpf.org/2007/ops" class="italic">Forum</span>- and - and <span xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:epub="http://www.idpf.org/2007/ops" class="italic">Q&amp;A</span>-Style Sites-Style Sites
    3. Major Forums and Question and Answer Sites
    4. Finding People
    5. Obtaining Data
    6. Case Studies
    7. Conclusions
  24. Chapter 18: Other networking sites
    1. Abstract
    2. Chinese Social Networking Sites
    3. Other Sites
    4. Conclusions and Guidelines
  25. Chapter 19: Social media sharing
    1. Abstract
    2. Photos and Videos
    3. Music
    4. Conclusions
  26. Chapter 20: Online dating
    1. Abstract
    2. Introduction
    3. Major Online Dating Sites
    4. Finding People
    5. Obtaining Data
    6. Case Studies
    7. Conclusions
  27. Chapter 21: Analyzing networks
    1. Abstract
    2. Introduction
    3. Visualizations
    4. Terminology
    5. Analysis
    6. Obtaining Social Network and Data
    7. Example Analyses
  28. Chapter 22: How to use NodeXL
    1. Abstract
    2. Getting Started with NodeXL
    3. Analyzing Networks
    4. Visualizing Networks
  29. Chapter 23: Beyond the individual
    1. Abstract
    2. Organizations
    3. Communities and Events
    4. Conclusions
  30. Chapter 24: Inferring traits from profiles
    1. Abstract
    2. Twitter
    3. Facebook
    4. Offline
    5. Conclusions
  31. Chapter 25: An Example Investigation
    1. Abstract
    2. The Target
    3. The Background
    4. Investigation Results
    5. Conclusion
  32. Glossary
  33. Index