Social media monitoring helping the police with various cases
Social media websites are not just for teens – they are also helping the police track down various criminals, according to USA Today.
One case which occurred last year basically led the police directly to the suspects of an armed robbery, as the suspects posted the video of them committing the crime online.
“We were looking at friends and friends of friends of the suspects [in the other case], and we just happened to run across it,” Lieutenant Lisa Thomas, who heads the center that was founded two years ago, told the news source. “You have guys who are bragging about their crimes online.”
By searching on social media sites, police may be able to prevent something horrible from happening. For example, police discovered from the suspect of the recent shootings at a Chardon, Ohio, high school, T. J. Lane, wrote previous posts that may have hinted at what he was planning on doing. And as soon as a crime is committed, Facebook works to put the post down fast, according to the media outlet.
“Facebook pages go down pretty quickly,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, who specializes in monitoring digital hate crimes and terrorism for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the news source. “What right does law enforcement have to shut down the pages? Clearly, the cops will say it is evidence and that they are entitled to it. Cops are routinely doing this without a court order.”
According to The Journal News, police were able to use social media to break up a high school party in Ossining, New York. Parties known as “Project X,” named after a film currently in theaters in which three kids throw a huge party, have been popping up in towns across the country. The result of these parties sometimes include; arrests and in worst case scenarios, individuals are injured or become sick. A recent party that was scheduled to happen in Ossining went viral on a social media site, allowing the police to stop the party before it started.
Parents can also set up parental control software systems on their computers or children’s cell phones to ensure they are not behaving badly while surfing the web. Additionally, the parents can make sure their child isn’t a victim of virtual bullying or other types of online harassment.