Digging Up Social Media Data

Takeaways from CLM's recent webinar, “Social Media Investigations for Claims Personnel and Attorneys.”

September 06, 2019 Photo

CLM’s Retail, Restaurant, and Hospitality Community’s recent webinar, “Social Media Investigations for Claims Personnel and Attorneys,” attracted nearly 400 registrations. Below are a few key takeaways.

12:00:00 p.m.


Dwight Geddes, head of Metro Claims Mgmt NYC Inc.

Jacob Malatesta, shareholder at Hagwood and Tipton

12:02:26 p.m.

Jacob Malatesta
“When discussing social media evidence, the first step is to perform an investigation pre-suit. Next is to take the proper steps to draft discovery tools that will pass court scrutiny and show how important social media archives are for that. You must also ensure the evidence is admissible, and [understand] the ethical considerations when performing social media investigations.”

12:04:31 p.m.

Jacob Malatesta
“Social media provides us with facts that we would not normally get in typical litigation circumstances. I like to say fish swim and birds fly, and people have an indomitable instinct to put the intimate details of their lives online”

12:10:48 p.m.

Dwight Geddes
“Instagram has gained tremendously in popularity—it has probably surpassed Facebook in terms of use by certain generations. Because it is based on posting videos and photos, it’s extremely useful when you are looking for witnesses, events, claimant connections, and more.”

12:14:01 p.m.

Dwight Geddes
“Yelp is a site that is often overlooked as a source. It is particularly helpful if you’re not just looking for people and the reviews they post, but also trying to find out information about a particular location.”

12:17:37 p.m.

Jacob Malatesta
“Different groups use social media differently. For instance, baby boomers use Facebook the way that millennials use Instagram. Baby boomers use LinkedIn like millennials use Facebook. If your looking at a young plaintiff, expect that they are going to put their best foot forward on Facebook. What you really want is their Instagram or Snapchat.”

12:18:40 p.m.

Jacob Malatesta
“What is most important in any social media investigation is the discovery tools between parties, not necessarily third parties, especially with regard to subpoenas. That’s because social media companies do not have to respond to subpoenas. The persons from which you need to get the information are the users themselves.”

12:21:16 p.m.

Dwight Geddes
“Facebook’s ‘Download My Archive’ is a valuable feature. Click on ‘settings’ at the top of Facebook, then find the link that says, ‘Your Facebook Information’ link. Once there, click ‘Download Your Information.’ This information includes complete chat history, check-in information, date/time/IP address for each login, purchases made, postings (even those that are deleted), and all ‘liked’ postings.”

12:25:57 p.m.

Jacob Malatesta
“The usual response to a [social media archive request] is an objection on the basis of an invasion of privacy and that there is private, non-public information on Facebook. Like dragons and unicorns, the ubiquitous ‘privacy’ right doesn’t exist.”


About The Authors
Eric Gilkey

Eric Gilkey is executive editor of CLM Magazine, a publication of the Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) Alliance. He may be reached at  eric.gilkey@TheCLM.org

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CLM’s Insurance Fraud Committee identifies, analyzes, and offers education on emerging fraud schemes and tactics; monitors and reports on developments in case law, state fraud statutes and applicable regulations; collaborates with other anti-fraud industry organizations and associations; and seeks to provide amicus support in matters of importance in the fight against insurance fraud.

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