The difference between research and investigating depends on who's doing it. If Sherlock Investigations is doing it, it's investigating. If Columbia University's doing it, it's research.
Whatever you call it, it's sometimes necessary. If you meet someone online you research/investigate them. If you're going to invest money in a company, you research/investigate them.
Researching something online has gotten easier since the advent of Google and Wikipedia. Before most people knew that you could do it, we used to enter phone numbers in Google and get the subscriber's name and address, and charge $50 for it. Now, most people know about it. Google doesn't have most people's unlisted number so people still come to Sherlock Investigations for that.
Google and Wikipedia have almost everything about everything. You have to be careful with Wikipedia. Anyone can edit it. I've been in Wikipedia for several years. Some of the things it says about me simply aren't true. I used to change them, but someone would change them back again. Now, I don't bother.
One site says I converted to Orthodox Judaism. It's simply not true.
You have to be very, very careful when researching/investigating online. Get at least two sources, but be sure they didn't get the information from each other.
If there is misinformation about you online, forget about correcting it. Anything on the Internet is like Pandora's Box. Perhaps one way to cover your tracks is put a lot of false information about yourself on the Internet. Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Then someone researching you will not know what to think. Obviously, some of the info is wrong.