Defensibly Collect Web and Social Media Evidence
August 13, 2020
Today's TechnoLawyer Buyer's Guide report covers a Chrome extension that automatically and defensibly captures evidence from websites, including social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Defensibly Collect Online Evidence From Web Pages, Social Media, and Videos for Litigation
Social media posts and web pages pose a challenge when you need to use them as exhibits in litigation or investigations. They don't look the same when you try to save them as a PDF. Screenshot software cannot capture videos or unfurl hidden comments. Most importantly, these rudimentary methods may not withstand an authentication challenge. Overcoming these hurdles requires a purpose-built tool for litigators and their teams.
WebPreserver in One Sentence
Pagefreezer's WebPreserver is a Chrome extension that automatically and defensibly captures evidence from websites, including social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
The Killer Feature
Given its more than 2.6 billion users, Facebook often contains critical evidence. A Facebook timeline can seemingly scroll forever and contain videos and hidden comments. A few years ago, several products took advantage of Facebook's API to scrape timelines but Facebook revoked access after high-profile data privacy scandals.
WebPreserver has never used social media APIs. Instead, it behaves like an actual person using Facebook. When you're on a Facebook page of interest, click the WebPreserver extension, and then choose from Facebook-specific options such as capturing videos and expanding posts and comments. You can set a date range of what to capture and add a delay to capture posts you expect in the near future. For every capture, you can add tags and notes in a metadata layer for your own reference.
WebPreserver exports captures in several common formats suitable for importing into ediscovery software or using as is, including image PDF, searchable PDF (OCR), WARC, MHTML, or JPEG — plus videos as separate MP4 files if any exist in the capture. Previews enable you to see what each export format will look like.
WebPreserver generates a Collection Report for authentication proof. It lists the captured URL, time and date, IP address, web browser, name and email address of the person who conducted the capture, and most importantly encrypted digital signatures that prove authenticity.
"We often hear from legal professionals how frustrating it is to collect social media evidence through a manual process like taking screenshots," says Pagefreezer CEO and Founder Michael Riedijk. "Scrolling through endless timelines and expanding comments is slow, time-consuming work. That's why they love WebPreserver so much. It provides them with accurate and defensible evidence and automates the whole process, including scrolling through timelines, expanding comments, and automatically downloading videos."
WebPreserver captures Facebook timelines with options such as expanding posts and comments, including videos, and restricting by date range.
Other Notable Features
WebPreserver also offers specialized tools for Instagram (include videos, expand all comments, and automatically capture all posts from an account), LinkedIn (capture a company or a person, including posts and replies), Twitter (capture by date range and include videos and direct messages), and YouTube (capture the video and comments if relevant). Instagram comments and Twitter direct messages have poor user experiences from years of neglect. WebPreserver improves on the reading experience with a more modern layout and timestamps.
As its name suggests, WebPreserver also captures web pages and entire websites. WebPreserver can use a site's sitemap or its built-in web crawler to search a website and capture all its pages. Alternatively, you can use WebPreserver's bulk capture tool to manually enter URLs or import them from a text file. The bulk capture tool also works with all social media platforms that WebPreserver supports.
What Else Should You Know?
WebPreserver encrypts all captured material and stores it locally on your computer, not in the cloud. A dashboard lists your captures. You can also find captures by searching tags and notes as well as the captured material itself. A WebPreserver subscription includes unlimited captures. For large jobs, Pagefreezer can handle the capturing for you.
Take a Closer Look at WebPreserver
Meet Neil J. Squillante
Neil J. Squillante is the founder and publisher of TechnoLawyer, an award-winning network of free email newsletters for lawyers and law office administrators. Many consider TechnoLawyer newsletters the only ones they need. A Fastcase 50 award winner, Neil has a long track record of inventing successful advertising and publishing technologies and related best practices. Previously, Neil practiced commercial litigation at Am Law 100 firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher. He received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law and his B.A. from Duke University. At UCLA, Neil served as a Managing Editor of UCLA Law Review.
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