Using Internet and Social Media Data as Collateral Sources of Information in Forensic Evaluations

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Abstract

Increasing use of Internet search engines (e.g., Google), social networking sites (e.g., Facebook), and commentary vehicles (e.g., Twitter) has prompted discussion regarding users’ privacy. Whereas there is a growing professional literature pertaining to the use of data drawn from social media sources in employment, university admissions, and health-care settings, few publications address the use of Internet data in forensic mental health assessment contexts. In this paper, we consider the appropriateness of professionals seeking and incorporating Internet and social media data when conducting forensic psychological evaluations, and we set forth a call for research and additional commentary.

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