Since the advent of the internet, several forms of social media have exploded onto the scene. As technology progresses, more and more people are favoring communication through social media, especially since they have become more user friendly throughout the years. With the sudden ease of technological communication, people find a wider audience ready, willing, and able to listen to anything and everything a person has to say. We all do it. We sign on to our favorite social media network and post messages complaining about our day or acknowledging a friend’s birthday or posting pictures of our vacations or fun times with friends and family. Posting information on social media has become so common and frequent nowadays that many of us tend to forget a very important caveat: people are watching.
So how does that affect you or someone you know? Well, in several ways depending on the content that is posted.
I came across a website called “HappyPlace” that contained a post entitled: More idiotic confessions to criminal activity accidentally posted on Facebook.
With a click of a button, you see a post about a teen bragging about driving drunk and feigning an apology to “whoever’s” vehicle he hit. A picture of this kid’s sweet face in a mug-shot is included in the post. Scroll down a little further and you find a picture of two young teens with the caption “Thieves Arrested After Bragging on Facebook.” According to the article, the pair was alerted to authorities after one of their victims spotted them on the social network bragging about their crimes. Continue scrolling and you find a female posting a public request to her friends asking if any of them have weed because she “need[s] a gram.” A friend provides her with a phone number that turns out to be the contact information for their local police department.
I can imagine what you must be thinking. “Those people are stupid. [insert name] would never be dumb enough to post [his/her] criminal activities online.” To that, I will say that this happens a lot more than you think, and yes, these posts can initiate a criminal investigate which may lead to criminal charges which may lead to a criminal conviction which may lead to jail time which may disrupt social media communication.
Should this sort of thing happen to you or someone you know, please contact an attorney that practices criminal law to discuss your legal options. The law firm of Shumway Van & Hansen has a criminal practice group both its Las Vegas and Salt Lake City offices so please call if you find yourself needing a criminal defense attorney.