Since the explosion of Internet chat rooms in the late 1990s, law enforcement officials have used various forms of social media to catch criminals and acquire evidence of criminal activity. Now that over 80% of the population has social media profiles, the police have sought to evolve with the times by using their own social media accounts to prosecute crimes. What this means is that your own social media activity may be used against you if you are ever charged with a crime. Knowing these three ways the police use social media will show you how your own Internet usage history has the potential to cost you your freedom.
Even though over 95% of all law enforcement agencies use social media, people continue to post information about their location online. Multiple platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Yelp allow users to share their physical location with their friends or followers. Not only do these check-ins make it easier for law enforcement officials to find people suspected of committing crimes, it also allows prosecutors to prove that a potential suspect was in a specific area where criminal activity occurred, tying them to a crime.