It is amazing how much crime is either reported by the offender before it happens, a crime is committed in the act of posting on social media, or evidence of crimes is posted. The more I look at social media Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram it is just amazing how much breadcrumbs and evidence is left behind.
As an experiment I investigated numerous random postings. In almost all cases law enforcement was already engaged. Any person with some knowhow and a computer can look up so much information.
With this going on in Ferguson and elsewhere it brings this issue to light more so than ever. People who barely know how to function online are committing and documenting their crimes. To make this even more absurd some crimes are being actually videotaped.
In the most recent insane example is that of Joshua Williams who goes by the Twitter name @TheRealJosh95 took a lead role in the protests in Ferguson. He went on to Tweet brags about how they burned it down after the fires occurred.
Then a man was killed by a police officer after he pulled a loaded weapon trying to murder the responding officer. The officer had been dispatched to a theft where the man matched the description. The man did not know his firearm and failed to take the gun off of safe and was killed in a justifiable homicide by the police officer. There was outrage and protest and Joshua Williams committed arson on multiple cameras one of which was taken by a fellow protester and posted on social media.
Joshua Williams was profiled by MSNBC here
As an IT professional I can assure you that your digital footprints are left everywhere. Once you decide to hit send, post, update, or whatever it is there for life. Social media platforms that provide API’s (Application Programming Interfaces) and usable front ends for us to use like facebook.com or twitter.com keep details logs and history. They do cooperate with law enforcement so do not think for a second discussing crime in a private session protects you.
If you get online understand what you are doing.
Please people do not die and become the next hashtag on some social media platform.