Social Media is a Source for Criiminals and Law Enforcement

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Social media has become a popular tool for both criminals and law enforcement. There are a lot of different perspectives about how social media is instrumental to crime and solving crimes. On one hand, law enforcement can use social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter to find evidence about specific crimes. On the other hand, digital villains can use social media to break the law. This could include crimes as small as illegally downloading music, anywhere upwards to broadcasting the selling of drugs. Social media has also bred a new type of crime. Online money scams are a rising issue in Canada as the social media demographic expands. Another popular topic in social media crime is the use of vigilantes. With the use of computers, smartphones and tablets, law enforcement has such a wide spectrum of users to ask for aid in crime solving. It is also important to consider ethical considerations of using social media information. It is possible to infringe on users rights when deriving information and evidence. All of these different aspects establish how social media is both a barrier and benefit to crime in Canada. Any site that allows people to post updates on their whereabouts, and daily activities are all potentials for police officers and investigators to gain evidence, or make charges on specific crimes. Kate Knibbs of digitaltrends.com states that “Facebook is now one of the most fertile sources of criminal evidence” (Knibbs, 2013). The website goes on to say that it started as small as underage drinking, and has evolved into helping to identify gang members. There are different ways that law enforcement can use social media to gain evidence. One way is the practice of creating fake online profiles. “Police officers c... ... middle of paper ... ...e crowd in order to help police in ways they would not be able to without social media. When you share an Amber Alert, you are exerting some sort of internet vigilance. It is also important to be wary of misguided and damaging internet vigilance, which imposes on impartiality and justice. As well as the internet has the ability to help fight crime, the internet has the ability to add to crime through phishing, hacking and social media scams. It is imperative to be aware of the evolution of online crime, in order to avoid it. Lastly, protecting your privacy on the internet is feasible if there is an understanding of the privacy and security of individual social media sites, as well as who has access to your profile. There will always be benefits to using social media to solve crimes, as there will always be deterrents to protecting your own social safety online.

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