Guide Gather digital evidence

What to do, step by step, to gather digital evidence.

  1. Take screenshots of messages/comments/emails, so that the entire computer screen or phone screen with the timestamp and date are visible.
  2. Digitally save the threats. Do not delete the messages/comments/emails/pictures! It is understanding that your first reaction is to delete, but do not do it. If the crime is committed in public and not in private communication, it is also good if you send the direct link to the comment.
  3. Print out messages/comments/emails on paper.
  4. Ask someone to look at the original message/comment/email online, the person can be called as a witness in a potential trial.
  5. File a police report.
  6. Contact the administrators of the page and report the person.

Good things to think about and do:

  • When you are going to describe and report the crime, be as clear as possible without being emotional. Just describe what happened, when, and how. Describing your experience of the incident is also important, but should be done separately from the actual description of the crime.
  • Using a timeline is good. Write down the incident(s) in time order in an attached document, preferably with reference to screenshots. 
  • It is not really your job to gather evidence, it is the police’s. The police only solve 4% of all reported cases of cyber hate, and gathering digital evidence will increase your odds of your report being taken on, but you always have the right to file a report—with or without evidence.