Why Law Enforcement Needs to Monitor Social Media

The Internet is the most popular outlet of communication with billions of messages exchanged online every day, but not all of them are legal. Easy access, speed, and wide message reach through social media make the Internet an ideal platform for letting people know what you are planning, coordinating, or selling.

Dealers advertise illegal drugs, revolutionaries plot potentially violent demonstrations, criminals message other criminals, and unknowing witnesses describe crimes happening in front of them.  Monitoring these events in real-time through social media helps transform law enforcement from a reactionary service to a collection of proactive crime stoppers.

What is the Social Media Monitor for Law Enforcement?

According to Indiana State Police Lt. Charles Cohen, in an interview with The Informant, “When it comes to using emergent technology, law enforcement is probably further behind the curve than any other type of organization.”

Cohen said that information found online provides a glimpse into the lives of suspects, victims, and witnesses that wouldn’t be possible with a real-life investigation.

Staying on top of this information can be incredibly difficult with large volumes of constantly updating information and little time to sit on Twitter clicking through individual tweets. BrightPlanet’s Social Media Monitor for Law Enforcement monitors Twitter for specific keywords and individual users. Simply enter your “red flag” keywords and all tweets containing those words appear in real-time; if you’ve already compiled a list of Twitter users you want to monitor, you can group users by affiliation and view the entire group’s threaded conversations or “red flag” mentions.

Not only knowing the content, but also the location of the message benefits law enforcement. The Social Media Monitor displays geo-located tweets on an interactive map; officers can pin a drug dealer to a specific building based on a tweet. If civil unrest over a specific area of the city is the concern, Social Media Monitor users can place a pin on the map and view all tweets within a selected radius of a location.

Patterns of life analysis is one of law enforcement’s most powerful techniques. If Suspect A is tweeting about drugs every night from 1-2 a.m., law enforcement can make an accurate prediction that Suspect A will continue to do so until caught. The Social Media Monitor automatically analyzes patterns of life for Twitter users you want to target. A built-in archive allows officers to save searches, build files, and export compiled results for evidentiary purposes.

The best part of our tool is the IT requirements. There are none! All you need is a web browser to access the Social Media Monitor for Law Enforcement.

Key benefits of the Social Media Monitor include:

  • Track, monitor, and alert officers to “mission critical” tweets
  • A built-in map shows where geo-located tweets originated
  • View live stream of tweets based on your customized keywords
  • Filter tweets by “red flag” keywords, targeted Twitter users, or both
  • Patterns of Life analysis
  • View threaded conversations of multiple Twitter users
  • Identify potential offenders and witnesses
  • Tag clouds help officers stay current with street slang words
  • Search specific geographic areas through an interactive interface and setting a radius for pinpoint monitoring
  • Dramatic force multiplier for Intelligence Analysts

Our monitoring tool helps you prevent dangerous activity, so you don’t have to react to it. Social media outlets remain untapped, unharnessed catalysts of “new intelligence” for law enforcement officials. We can help you  track down the information and the people you need.