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October 24, 2014

Crime and Social Media

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The average social media user may not face any issues with regard to crime. Trolling, sure. That’s what the Internet is for, right? Crime directly related to social media is not that common, though. Or is it?

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In recent times, however, studies have shown that there is a correlation between crime and social media. As early as 2012, the BBC reported that alleged crimes related to Twitter and Facebook have increased eight-fold in four years!

To be fair, the findings of various studies are not always negative. But when it does go wrong, it can get shocking. read more

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July 15, 2009

Bloggers Behaving Badly

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Most of the bloggers I know are hard-working, law-abiding citizens. However, this morning I could not seem to escape stories about bad bay bloggers.

Kevin Cogill, the blogger who foolishly posted the new Guns N’ Roses tracks before they were officially released, was sentenced to two months of home confinement and one year of probation. The good news? He’ll have plenty of time to blog. read more

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June 9, 2009

Burglars Putting Twitter To Bad Use

USA Today runs the AP story about Israel Hyman who twittered on his vacation and got his home burglarized. Twitter is blamed, because with constant updates on where Hyman and his wife were, the burglars could take their time. The AP story says:

Most people wouldn’t leave a recording on a home answering machine telling callers they’re on vacation for a week, and most people wouldn’t let mail or newspapers pile up while they were away. But users of social media think nothing of posting real-time vacation photos on Facebook showing themselves on beaches hundreds of miles from home, or sending out automatic e-mail messages that say, “I’m out of the country for a week.”

That’s the gist of it really. We’ve heard this before, about traditional blogging. If the wrong people follow you on Twitter, is watching you on Facebook, or reads your blog, and you tell them that you and your family will be on vacation for a week, then they could exploit that. It is worth thinking about, at least.

Do you worry about letting burglars know when you’re out of town via Twitter?

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August 19, 2008

EveryBlock.com’s Adrian Holovaty profiled in Chicago Tribune

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Andrian Holovaty, the founder of web 2.0 startup EveryBlock.com, was profiled in this weekend’s Chicago Tribune along with his fascinating local/neighborhood exploration tool EveryBlock:

The action, though, around EveryBlock.com is hot and heavy. A means of painting a portrait of your own neighborhood by delving into the site’s constantly updated databases-crimes, housing inspections, news stories and many more-it’s got big media companies vying to partner up and the tech community heralding its achievement.

Yet when it began in January, the site staged none of those extravagant Internet launch parties designed to herald its arrival and, one suspects, to let computer geeks impress preternaturally buff singles with all the money their industry attracts.

read more

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June 16, 2008

Blogger Beware: Arrests on the Rise

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In a daring mood? Apparently bloggers around the world are willing to do the time if they commit a ‘crime.’

According to a University of Washington annual report, since 2003, 64 people have been arrested for things they wrote on a blog. And the numbers are on the rise. 2007 saw three times as many people arrested for blogging about political issues than in 2006.

The largest concentration of ‘crimes’ took place in China, Egypt and Iran. However, regardless of where you are a citizen, no blogger is truly above the law.

The university cites the “growing” political importance of blogging as a cause for the uptick.

It also should be noted that the Committee to Protect Bloggers has have identified 344 people arrested – in Burma alone – potentially for blogging.

Whatever the number currently is, If I were a betting man, I’d place a wager that the number will be MUCH higher in 2008.

Read more at BBC.

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April 13, 2008

How an online forum helped a car dealer recover a stolen car…

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We’ve all heard of services like Lojack, a service that allows police (and the rightful owner) to track down a vehicle after it has been stolen – but many have probably never seen a story where an online forum of car enthusiasts uses the internet, cell phones, text messaging, video cameras, and other tools to help other car enthusiasts recover their vehicles once they are stolen.

Today’s New York Times profiles how online collaboration through services like online forums enabled one car enthusiast/dealer was able to recover a rare & valuable stolen car:

One of the men had been to the dealership a week earlier for a ride, but he and Mr. Ironside didn’t get far. The car, with an engine modified for extra horsepower, began to act up. When the man returned with a friend for another try, Mr. Ironside was juggling two customers, so he just handed them the keys, explaining that there was only enough gas in the tank for a drive around the block.

But 15 minutes later Mr. Ironside noticed that the Skyline still hadn’t returned — and that the car that the two men had arrived in was gone. A bad feeling swelled in his gut; still, he reasoned, sometimes a buyer will take a car to have it inspected.

“It’s kind of hard to report a vehicle stolen 15 minutes after it’s not come back from a test drive,” he said in a telephone interview last Sunday.

The car never returned. That night, after reporting its disappearance to the police, Mr. Ironside posted a message on Beyond.ca, a Web site for Canadian auto enthusiasts, to spread the word.

Auto theft isn’t a crime that you see police spending much time on nowadays – though from time to time we hear of a prominent case – perhaps this is a more efficient manner of getting the job done?

Other coverage: Wired & Slashdot.

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