Fightin' crime with Facebook

It’s no longer a surprise when the police use “new technologies” to garner information in criminal investigations. But what if Facebook is one of these tools?

Last week, five women beat up another student off-campus at our university. After a short, verbal confrontation, the group of women collectively broke the girl’s arm, kicked, dragged and punched her until the fight was dispersed by other party-goers. Throughout the course of the investigation, it was brought to the police investigators’ attention that the group was bragging about the incident on Facebook. Investigators used “the Book” as a tool for identifying suspects, and each woman’s individual Facebook page will likely serve as evidence during the prosecution of this case.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that a place like Facebook would offer ample evidence in a case, even of this magnitude (battery charges can mean 2-8 years in prison). It is horrible that these girls bragged about harming another person on Facebook, but after seeing what people put on their profiles these days, it certainly doesn’t shock me as it might have once. And kudos to the police for using Facebook as a tool for finding/identifying other suspects – it shows the legal system is keeping up with the technological times. Facebook will likely offer more accurate and timely information than any other traditional source.



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