What is it: It’s a social media analytics tool which allows you to search locations for messages, images and videos sent via social media. Echosec say they have clients in a number of areas ‘including Law Enforcement, Corporate Security, Investigations, and Brand Engagement’.
Use for News: Bellingcat have just reposted this article about how the team at Echosec found evidence of a Russian soldier fighting in the Ukraine by tracing his photos and messages uploaded to VK, a Russian Facebook like application. See also the Echosec blog page covering the Je Suis Charlie events in Paris, and the mapping of the worldwide explosion of sentiment in the hours following.
Upside: Echosec appears to be amazingly simple to use. Just search for any global location, zoom in, draw a search square and you instantly see social messages sent within a given timeframe, appearing in a stream below the map.
Downside: It feels frightenly like spying. A quick look in my neighborhood location made me feel very uncomfortable. We have no doubt that private detectives and jealous partners will be making good use of this tool.