Sunday, June 27, 2010

Social Networking Could Land You In Jail

Social networking websites are filled with videos of people in humorous situations or making prize fools of themselves: the 2007 clip of Miss South Carolina earning the title of 'Blonde Bimbo Of The Millennium' is a classic case in point!
These sites are also filled with people exercising poor judgment in the real world, and then making things worse by posting videos of their actions online. They're obviously unaware that now the police are using these sites to help fight crime. US cops policing state forests often surf YouTube, to find video evidence of 4WD-drivers damaging forest parks or driving down fish-bearing creek beds.
To make a case with YouTube, police need to see a licence plate and identify a landmark to confirm the illegal off-roading is happening on their turf... and they're having some success. Those who post such self-praising videos don't think beyond illustrating how much fun they may be having at others' expense. A positive spin-off is that now many off-road clubs, who use the internet to increase their membership, have instigated self-policing on their websites, to show their sport in the best possible light.
brainless Norwegian environmental vandalsEarlier this year, a YouTube video showing Norwegian backpackers shooting a protected New Zealand native wood pigeon (kereru) caused public outrage. In NZ the maximum penalty for killing such wildlife is a $100,000 fine and up to a year in jail. The five were lucky to have returned to Norway by the time the video was posted.
While tracking offenders via YouTube videos is not a failsafe method for police, it's another option in their crimefighting arsenal.
PS: 16 October 2010 - In NZ, three men who viciously attacked a protected leopard seal by throwing rocks at it and dragging it down a beach have been busted by placing their photos on Facebook. Beware!!

1 comment:

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