Ep 70 – How Social Media Is Used in Workplace Investigations

Americans spend nearly 2 hours a day on social media. It’s an important part of our personal and professional lives. It keeps us connected to colleagues, friends, news and family. As social media grows in popularity and adoption by your workforce, it’s important to consider how you might be using social media information in your workplace investigations.

Episode 70: Social Media’s Role in Background Checks and Workplace Investigations with Eli Rosenblatt (@pdxinvestigator)

Eli Rosenblatt is a digital forensics investigator who works with employers helping them uncover digital information often times on social media as part of workplace and employer investigations. Eli works on cases dealing with worker’s compensation, embezzling, sexual harassment and other sticky employee situations, many of those involving social media posts, videos and posts on Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, Periscope and even LinkedIn.

Eli shares in this podcast that background checks and investigations involving social media work well if there is a segregation between jobs as part of the hiring process. He suggests keeping the social media search separate from the person who is responsible for the hiring process in terms of protected class information.

When it comes to collecting evidence during investigations that involve social media and online properties, Eli says screenshots won’t cut it in terms of a termination. He says HR and investigations will need a more thorough process of capturing and authentication. A simple screenshot from the employee accuser is not enough because of editing tools like Photoshop. Word of an expert investigator is the best way to authenticate digital evidence.

In terms of digital forensics and workplace investigation tools, Eli recommends X1 Social Discovery and says employers need to do their best to stay up to date on different trending tools used by their employees. They come and go so fast.

The Perils of Video Streaming Technologies Like Periscope as Part of Workplace Investigations

Just like in Workology Podcast Episode 69 with Brian Fanzo, Periscope snuck its way into the conversation.  Eli warns that with social media videostreaming tools like Periscope you can’t keep the information as easily. The replay is only available for 24 hours. This means that employers need to move fast during their investigation and as part of their digital authentication.

When it comes to selecting technology and establishing a workplace investigations process that involves digital properties, social networks and websites, Eli says HR and IT have to work together to decide what tools meet the company’s needs and what tools also present the biggest challenges.

Connect with Eli Rosenblatt on LinkedIn.



*A special thank you to my production team at Total Picture Radio.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Derek McDoogle says

    I’ve never thought about the things I post online being used for investigations. Maybe I should be a little more cautious as to what I say and do because big brother is always going to be watching. I’m glad that these methods are used though because it makes me feel safer when I’m at my job.



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