Social Media Account Collection

This technical note discusses a social media account collection of ESI from Custodians.  We follow this when we do social media account collections through our Professional Services department.

Collection Obligations Generally

Parties to a litigation are generally required to use reasonable, good faith and proportional efforts to preserve, identify and produce relevant information. This includes identifying appropriate limits of discovery, such as custodians, identification of relevant subject matter, time periods for discovery collection and similar parameters to guide preservation and discovery issues.

Discovery should be "proportional", so that the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit, considering the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, the parties’ resources, the importance of the issues at stake in the action, and the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues.

Social media collections should be comprehensive without being unnecessarily over-inclusive. The process should preserve the integrity of the data, and preserve a chain of custody, but also be cost-and time-efficient, not unreasonably disrupt the Custodian or business.  Forensic Social Media Collection companies specialize in expanding all links and parts of a social media account and in turn provide large data sets that then need to be processed and reviewed.  An alternative option is to create an export within the actual social media account and process only the data that is necessary to review.

Lexbe Social Media Collections

Lexbe Professional Services can perform a standard collection of all major social media platforms including Facebook, LinkdIn and Twitter, upon request for eventual upload and processing within an LEP database.  The username and password for the account being collected would be required.  Additional specifics would need to be detailed prior to export as many platforms allow you to choose which areas to preserve (i.e. Facebook Timeline, Messages, entire Profile, etc.).  For a quote on this service, please contact

Directed Collection Protocol

The following documents a remote directed collection methodology of a social media account. 

Step 01: Custodian Identification

Identify the Custodians from whom social media accounts will be collected, including name, position and email addresses used.  Enter these as Custodians in the applicable case in the eDiscovery Platform.  

Step 02: Account Identification

Identify the individual social media accounts from which collection will be conducted. Enter this data in the notes field of the Custodian in the eDiscovery Platform. Obtain log-in credentials and passwords used to secure accounts.

Step 03: Export Archive Files from Social Media Accounts

For social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter and LinkdIn, you can request archive files from within the account that will then be generated and made available for download.  Log into the Custodian's account and follow the instructions below:

Facebook: Go to Settings>Download a copy of your Facebook Data>Start My Archive

Twitter: Go to Settings>Request Archive

LinkdIn: Go to Privacy & Settings>Account>Helpful Links>Request an archive of your data

*Additional instructions will be prompted directly from the social media website.  Archive request location is subject to change based on the social media company's discretion (or updates), but this information is made available through the site's FAQs.

Step 04: Social Media Collection Data Transmission

ESI collected as a result of a social media collection should be securely copied from the subject via FTP, or alternatively copied to a local flash or USB drive and returned.  

Step 05: ESI Media Report for Chain of Custody

Our Professional Services Team will generate an ESI Media Report documenting the collection to support evidence admissibility.