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Tweets And Threats: Gangs Find New Home On The Net

cold fjord (826450) writes | about 7 months ago

0

cold fjord (826450) writes "Associated Press reports, "Social media has exploded among street gangs ... They're turning to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to flaunt guns and wads of cash, threaten rivals, intimidate informants ... sell weapons, drugs — even plot murder. "What's taking place online is what's taking place in the streets," says David Pyrooz, an assistant professor at Sam Houston State University ... "The Internet does more for a gang's brand or a gang member's identity than word-of-mouth could ever do. It really gives the gang a wide platform to promote their reputations. ... On the crime-fighting side ... this activity ... is transforming how police and prosecutors pursue gangs. Along with traditional investigative techniques, police monitor gangs online ... a Cincinnati police officer who trains other law enforcement about social media, says by the time gang members appear in court, authorities have a dossier of their words and videos online that challenge how they want to portray themselves. "If a guy goes in and says, `I'm a good person. I've never held a gun,' we can say, `Look at what he puts out about himself on social media. Here he is with a gun.' ..." ... police say monitoring social media is time-consuming and frustrating.""
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