Social media sites have historically been used to share accomplishments and life events with friends across the country and in other occupations. This ready access has enabled people to share posts, photos and video in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, people don’t always consider the consequences of over-sharing, or sharing the wrong info.
It might be hard for some people to believe, but there are others in the world who consider theft and violence a significant accomplishment. Choosing to share these accomplishments on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope or YouTube can have disastrous consequences.
We’ve all heard the stories:
- The woman who live streamed on Periscope about how drunk she was while driving . . . and even filmed her DUI stop.
- The woman who made a YouTube video bragging about stealing a car and then robbing a bank.
- The man who posted a photo of himself siphoning gas from a police car on Facebook.
Unfortunately for criminals, this trend has taken a dangerous turn.
In California, law enforcement officers have started infiltrating gangs through their social networking efforts. By posing as attractive women and sending a flirtatious friend request, police now have instant access to the gang’s social media.
In one case, the police arrested and then released a gang member. People believed that the man had cut a deal and started posting warnings to other gang members: We have a snitch in our midst. What they didn’t realize was that the police were monitoring this activity and making notes of gang members and any illicit activity or incriminating evidence that was referenced.
Be careful what you post. From alerting people to when your house will be left unattended to bragging about how you successfully got away with a crime – your social media posts can have dramatic, unintended consequences.