Key Facebook Metadata Fields Lawyers and eDiscovery Professionals Need to be Aware of

Thank you to all for the response and excellent feedback on our previous post outlining key Twitter metadata fields. As promised, here are some key metadata fields for each Facebook entry. These fields provide important evidence, investigation context and circumstantial evidence to establish authenticity, if properly collected and preserved. Facebook changes their APIs from time to time, so we will be reporting any such changes and updates when they occur:

Metadata Field Description
Uri Unified resource identifier of the subject item
fb_item_type Identifies item as Wallitem, Newsitem, Photo, etc.
parent_itemnum Parent item number-sub item are tracked to parent
thread_id Unique identifier of a message thread
recipients All recipients of a message listed by name
recipients_id All recipients of a message listed by user id.
album_id Unique id number of a photo or video item
post_id Unique id number of a wall post
application application used to post to Facebook

(i.e, from an iPhone or social media client)

user_img url where user profile image is located
user_id Unique id of the poster/author of a Facebook item
account_id unique id of a users account
user_name display name of poster/author of a Facebook item
created_time When a post or message was created
updated_time When a post or message was revised/updated
To Name of user whom a wall post is directed to
to_id Unique id of user whom a wall post is directed to
Link url of any included links
comments_num Number of comments to a post
picture_url url where picture is located

As mentioned earlier, you will not get all this key metadata from a printout, screen capture, or even most compliance archive tools. Best practices technology specifically designed to collect, preserve, search and produce social media for eDiscovery is required.