The internet is still relatively new to us as human beings. It opens us up to rapidly growing ways of self-expression and communication, much as when the ocean’s waters first opened ways of communication between the continents of way back when. Sometimes, people forget what new dangers uncharted waters can hold.
Ever put something up on Facebook that you wished you hadn’t? Most of the time, this comes in the form of someone complaining about work or a boss they have there and forgetting they have said boss friended. But what happens if you post such a dumb status update that it results in your arrest for a possible felony?
On New Year’s day this year (2013), an 18-year-old teenager posted a status on Facebook that said, well, this:
In Oregon, the offender, Mr. Jacob Cox-Brown, was quickly found and arrested by the local police department. Apparently, the police had found pieces of the wreckage from the alleged collision, and then received tips about the Facebook update. Ironically, if he had not been dumb enough to post said status update, he probably would’ve gotten away with his idiotic escapade.
Here’s something you may not know: police do monitor Facebook posts. They are public, and even if they are somehow blocked, it doesn’t stop any of your Facebook “friends” from seeing them, possibly tipping off the police, such as in this case.
Astoria police (the ones who arrested Jacob) admitted in a press release that they are pretty active in regards to utilizing social media to track and/or find people who commit crimes, much as they did this time. The harsh truth is that nothing is private on the internet. Think twice before posting something that may land you in trouble with the law, or someone that may report you to the police.
The internet is as vast and alien to us as the ocean was for sailors in the dark ages. There is no map, no right or wrong way to navigate it. But sometimes you need to remember to be vigilant while you ride the web waves.
There be monsters there.