by John Patzakis
The legal field is seeing very strong demand for social media evidence collection software and services. However, Facebook, the most widely used social media platform, recently rolled out a completely new interface and data format to all of their 2.4 billion users. This caused a major disruption of eDiscovery and compliance workflows. In response, social media evidence collection tools either exited the market, changed their model to services, or provided flat file screen shots as their output.
Flat file screen shots of social media are of very limited value, as what they generally entail is a screenshot pdf image file without searchable text or metadata, other than what is visible on the image itself. For this reason, X1 made a substantial investment in research and development, so that our users would have native, post-level collection and parsing to ensure accuracy, key metadata collection, court authentication, and evidentiary completeness of the collected data with X1 Social Discovery. Nothing short of those capabilities are acceptable.
As a result of these efforts and ongoing support, users of X1 Social Discovery enjoy numerous benefits and advantages not available with any other tool on the market. To best illustrate this, we have compiled a list of the top 10 unique and differentiating features of X1 Social Discovery. While X1 Social users enjoy many additional compelling features and benefits from the software, this is a list of the unique strengths of the software that no other provider on the market can claim.
- True Native file Collection of Social Media Items and Web pages. Flat file pdfs are not searchable and do not support review, authentication, and analysis workflows. X1 collects native html at the post level. The court in Edwards v. Junior State of America Foundation, No. 4:19-CV-140-SDJ, (US Dist. CT, E.D. TX 2021), specifically ruled that only html or JSON social media collections are defined as native collection. Flat PDFs are not.
- Robust Post-Level Metadata Capture. X1 Captures over a dozen unique item level metadata fields. Other tools only record general URLs of the bulk collection, a hash of the entire “all or nothing” bulk pdf export containing up to hundreds of individual posts, with no individual hash values or metadata fields specific to any of those posts.
- Instant Searchability of Collected Items. X1 Social Discovery features a patented, powerful search across all collected items in a case. Foreign language and emojis are also searched. No Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is required (which is inaccurate and out of context). Other tools collect by converting searchable native originals to non-searchable PDF images, and then apply OCR to the bulk export. While OCR is acceptable when the original source is in a non-searchable image format, this intentional degradation from native to image, which then requires OCR, is not consistent with best practices and raises defensibility concerns.
- Federated Search and Review. With X1, multiple social media and web feeds are searched, sorted, and reviewed in a unified manner. No other tools on the market have an integrated review capability.
- Post Level Collection, Filtering and Production. The ability to tag, sort, authenticate (with their own hash value), and produce individual posts with X1 is essential for an efficient and effective workflow. Other tools require “all or nothing” production & hash of the flat PDF output.
- Analytics Support. Only X1 collects full text & post-level metadata needed by analytics engines. Using other tools is a decision to not use analytics on your case for social media evidence.
- Integrated Processing and Load File Generation. Only X1 can filter and export individual social media items with all associated comments and web pages directly into a load file. This saves extensive time and eliminates need for expensive additional processing required by other “less expensive’ tools.
- Deep Integration with Relativity for Review. X1 custom-developed a Relativity .RAP file that enables social media data to be displayed natively – at the post level — in full context in Relativity, the same as it appears in X1 Social Discovery. All metadata is overlayed, and the comments are kept in line and in context. Importantly, each post collected by X1 is treated as an individual record in Relativity, instead of the bulk export from other tools being a single record. This enables efficient review as well as robust data analytics of social media evidence in Relativity.
- Simultaneous Collection and Review. X1 can run multiple collections at the same time. For instance, a web crawl collection, a Facebook and a YouTube collection can be run at the same time. Data can be reviewed and analyzed immediately as it populates.
- Scheduled Monitoring and Search of Websites. With X1, websites can be automatically searched with targeted collection on a scheduled basis. Web and YouTube pages with specific keyword hits can be collected in a targeted manner. X1 features a web crawler (not just one page captures), that can collect thousands of pages from a single website. This supports monitoring and robust compliance workflows.
- (tie) Flexible Cloud or On-Premise Deployment. X1 Social can be installed on-premise, or hosted by X1, your law firm, or a 3rd party service provider. This provides critical deployment flexibility demanded by government and legal industry users.
X1 Social Discovery is the only eDiscovery solution applicable to these numerous, critical features and benefits. To learn more about this important functionality, please contact us for a technical briefing.