What is Social Media OSINT#

Most people are familiar with the term “OSINT” (Open Source Intelligence), but what about “Social Media OSINT”? Social Media OSINT is the process of using public social media platforms to gather information about a person, place, or thing. In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to the basics of Social Media OSINT and some of the best ways to benefit from social media contents.


We are using social media for various reasons such as socializing, playing games, buying an item, interacting with other users, learning about something, and so on. Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become inseparable elements of our lifestyles. We spend significant amounts of time on these platforms every day. Because of the large amount of important material that can be acquired on social media platforms, social media platforms provide countless options for any OSINT research.

What is social media intelligence?#

Social media intelligence (which is also abbreviated as SOCMINT) is simply any information obtained through social media networks. The resources offered on social networking platforms might be public, such as public such as Facebook postings, or private. Some examples of private information are private messages or posts shared with specific users. You can not access private information without proper permission.

Is social media content OSINT?#

Privacy advocates and other security professionals disagree on whether the available information on social networking platforms is OSINT. Security experts often consider social media information to be part of the OSINT domain since it is public information posted on public internet platforms and may thus be leveraged for a variety of objectives.

How do we benefit from social media contents?#

The majority of relevant information obtained by intelligence services is gathered from publicly available sources. Let’s look at some examples of data acquired from social networking sites.

Intelligence services obtain data in massive amounts from social media sites in order to gain an understanding of future events throughout the world and to identify individuals on a nationwide scale.

Apart from obtaining intelligence, law enforcement uses social media platforms as investigational instruments to better prevent crime. Reviewing a suspect’s Facebook page, or the sites of his family and friends, for example, may disclose crucial content regarding a criminal case. The suspect may be nameless at times, but the police may have a photograph of him captured by security cameras. In such circumstances, authorities use social media platforms to solicit public assistance in recognizing suspects. Additionally, social media platforms may be utilized to monitor and find the suspects.

Social media contents may also be valuable in the business context. Employers, for example, can run a background check on potential employees before providing them a position. The same is true for insurance firms and banks before providing their consumers with certain services. International corporations with operations in several countries must have some knowledge of new industries before entering them.


Although you can utilize complex techniques for OSINT collecting, after reading this blog post, you have realized that they may not be always necessary. Social networking sites may provide the information you need.

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Want to learn practical Open-Source Intelligence skills? Enrol in MCSI’s MOIS - Certified OSINT Expert Program