Parents of teens: Facebook often a platform for violence

In the past, teens gossiped via mouth and passed handwritten notes in school. Today, Facebook dominates the social circuit. Some say it’s contributing to the rise in juvenile crime.

Kids communicated much differently before the internet launched. School-aged teens spread rumors and gossip via mouth, and passed handwritten notes in school.

That is no longer the case today; Facebook and other social medial platforms dominate the school social circuit. And some argue that they are all contributing to the rise in juvenile crimes.

But how exactly is Facebook contributing to the increase in teenage crime?

The audience

Facebook allows users to distribute their messages to many different audiences. Within seconds, a posted status update from a kid at school can instantly be seen by a hundred or more classmates. Before social media, a rumor that was spread by word of mouth was likely to travel to only a dozen kids.

Limitless feedback

Facebook also allows many individuals to comment on a user's message-which can also be seen by countless people from school.

Once a classmate posts a statement, video, or picture that relates to another person, friend, enemy, or group, others are free to "like" the status. They can also make comments. Everyone can see them which in-turn fuels the debate.

What parents should know

Facebook has and does promote social conversation among kids today, but the platform also comes with downsides. Teenagers sometimes use Facebook to encourage altercations or violent activity.

"Internet banging" as one University of Michigan professor puts it, is common among teens who wish to "broadcast their gang affiliation and communicate threats."

And all of this commonly happens under parents' radar.

Case-in-point

A case in point involves one 13-year-old boy who was shot and killed in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The story was recently featured in the Kalamazoo Gazette and has gained nationwide attention.

Authorities claim the shooting was the result of Facebook and are calling the act "retaliation violence." During the investigation, police uncovered a video posted by a member of an alleged rival gang on Facebook that contained racial innuendos. The post spread like wildfire and fueled the hostility among teens in the community.

Legal help

Many kids can get caught up in what is said about them on such sites and often don't think before they act.

"A lot of these kids don't grasp the consequences of [their] actions, one officer recently reported to the Gazette.

And before they know it, the situation has gotten out of control, without parents even knowing how it transpired. Parents are encouraged to monitor what their kids are doing on social media sites but this is often easier said than done.

Parents of teens who do get involved with the law should know that the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable in juvenile criminal defense is available to mitigate potential repercussions.

Keywords: Facebook violence, juvenile crime, criminal defense lawyer