Social media is a huge part of everyone’s life and the ease in which you can broadcast messages to loads of people means a number of people abuse the privilege. People don’t realize that the perceptions of each individual can shape how words are perceived and the smallest thing can get you in trouble in one way or another.
People don’t realize most government and law enforcement agencies have some sort of online presence today. Some people are simply idiots and post information about criminal activity on Facebook or Twitter and other Social Media profiles and then wonder why they get arrested.
For example, a boy called Jacob Cox Brown from Oregon. His status read “Drivin drunk… classsic 😉 but to whoever’s vehicle i hit i am sorry. :P,” . 2 of his friends read this and then phoned the local police department. This turned out to help them catch him after 2 vehicles were damaged in a hit and run at 1am. He was charged with failing to perform the duties of a driver, but no drunken driving charges were laid against him.
A man called Christopher Castillo was arrested after making a radical status about Barack Obama’s election result. The Secret Service agents were sent to his house after someone reported his Facebook status of the 1st of November. “That’s the last straw, if he gets re-elected I’m going to hunt him down and kill him watch the life disappear from his eyes. “ This was apparently in response to Obama’s healthcare views.
In India 2 students were arrested, one for posting a political status, the other for simply clicking like on it. A Muslim graduate student, Shaheen Dhada posted a status saying “Every day thousands of people die, but still the world moves on ..Today, Mumbai shuts down out of fear, not out of respect.” In her status she was referring to the death of Bal Thackeray, the late leader of Hindu extremist group Shiv Sena, responsible for repeated waves violence against Muslims. Another graduate Rinu Shrinivasan, was also arrested by Indian police for stoking “religious enmity” by clicking like on the controversial status.
2 British tourists on their way to America were interrogated for 5 hours after posting a harmless tweet about destroying America. The tweet in question said “Free for a quick gossip/prep this week before I go and destroy America?x’”. This led to the 2 teenagers being arrested soon after landing in the States and have been banned from going back to America.
So next time you post a status on your Social Media profiles, keep in mind that someone is always watching what you say online and that it can get you arrested and may one day stop you from getting that dream job or the perfect partner.
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Just a Zimbabwean girl living it up in cosmopolitan Jozi. Tech junky, social media addict