Spotlight on Facebook and its occasional downside for teenagers

Fight behind the woodshop!

If you’re an Indiana reader of our criminal law blog posts who is of a certain vintage (let’s just say baby boomer), you likely remember words like the above, which signaled a school-related altercation about to happen.

Back in those days, your being privy to such information largely had a hit-or-miss quality about it. That is, you either just happened to be standing nearby somebody spreading the word of an imminent fight or you were elsewhere and learned nothing about it.

Prior the Internet, as we note in an article on our website at the Indianapolis law firm of Patel Defense discussing Facebook and its sometimes troubling link to juvenile crime and violence, “teens spread rumors and gossip via mouth, and passed handwritten notes in school.”

Well, that was literally old school. These days, of course, an online communication via Facebook or another social media platform can spread like fire, being seen virtually instantly by hundreds of students, who can also comment on and further disseminate the message.

Although that can certainly be a positive thing, it also comes with occasionally frightening — even deadly — implications, especially when an initial post or comment relates to crime and violence and can quickly incite a number of people to action.

As we note in the above article, parents aren’t always cognizant of such goings-on and can be oblivious to things like threats being communicated and so-called “retaliation violence.”

Attorneys who understand the central role that the Internet plays in the lives of young people know that juveniles can sometimes become ensnared by its underside. When a teen is targeted by law enforcement officials for alleged criminal activity driven by Facebook or some other online site, a proven criminal defense lawyer can provide legal representation aimed at mitigating adverse repercussions.