Facebook – the new tool for crime busters?

19 Oct 2009 (Mon)


  • A man saw a photo of himself posted on the city Police Department’s Facebook fan site in connection with a robbery he didn’t commit. He went to the police station to correct the problem, and the information he gave police led to the arrest of a 30-year-old man police said they believe is the real robber. — HomeTownAnnapolis.com, 18 October 2009
  • A 26-year-old fugitive was caught in Cancun, Mexico after he told his Facebook friends, including a former Justice Department official, that he was living in paradise there. — The Guardian, 14 October 2009
  • A 33-year-old clubber who attacked a man with a bottle has been jailed Portsmouth, UK, after his victim tracked him down using the Facebook social networking site. — BBC News, 08 October 2009
  • A 26-year-old burglar was caught in Rome, Italy because he logged onto Facebook during the break-in. — Telegraph, 03 October 2009
  • A 19-year-old Pennsylvania man was arraigned on a charge of daytime robbery in Berkeley County, USA because he used the victim’s computer to check his Facebook status during the robbery. — The Journal, 16 September 2009
  • [Feb 2010 update]:  The Singapore Police Force has a Police Appeal photo album entitled “Police Appeal: Do you know these people?” on Facebook. The photos were apparently added about nine months ago!

What about other social media?

“Boston police using Twitter and Facebook to track down bike thieves” — Mashable, 20th July 2009

“The next time you think about breaking and entering, you might want to consider that police departments are now savvy to social media and will use the power and reach of the web to catch you… the Los Angeles Police Department has just released surveillance video from a break-in that took place at Lindsay Lohan’s Hollywood Hills home on Sunday morning. Their method of conveyance— YouTube.” — Mashable, 26th August 2009

Recognize anyone in the video below?

See Also:


  • Facebook scammers latest trend in cyber thievery — Sunday Gazette Mail, 18th October 2009
  • Careless Facebook use can get you robbed too. — Mashable, 27th August 2009
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Posted by J.K. in *Roundups, Possibilities, Problems, Social Media | View Comments |

Debunking Social Media Myths

30 Jun 2009 (Tue)

“…SOCIAL MEDIA IS FREE, until the community manager headcount came in.” – Brian Wallace of Blackberry

David Armano observed in his blog at Harvard Business Today “a fundamental truth to social media that many organizations underestimate — being social means having real live people who actively participate in your initiatives.  It’s difficult to automate and a challenge to scale, but it can also help move your business forward in ways that produce leveraged outcomes such as new/better products or services.”

He also noted that seeding, feeding, and weeding all take place after any social initiative has been launched:

  • Seeding. Investing to grow your effort into a healthy ecosystem that can produce data, insights or even new ideas. People will be required in order to do this.
  • Feeding. Feeding the media with a steady stream of content. Some of this can be automated… but there has to be some editorial judgment made for every piece of content and functionality. People are required for that.
  • Weeding. A productive social business design will require efforts to prune and weed out material that can inhibit its growth (just like a garden). In some cases, automated moderation services can do this–but in others people will be required to ensure that interactions are productive..
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Posted by J.K. in Possibilities, Problems, Social Media, Technology | View Comments |

13 reasons your Facebook account will be disabled

4 Jun 2009 (Thu)

ACCORDING TO THOR MULLER, there are 13 things that (supposedly) will get you kicked off Facebook (thanks, Jean :) ) :

  1. You didn’t use your real name. Facebook will find you and spit you out.
  2. You joined too many groups. (The maximum limit is 200 groups per user.)
  3. You posted too many messages on a wall or in a group. E.g. Guy Kawasaki had his account disabled–in his case for “excessive evangelism.”
  4. You posted in too many groups, too many user’s walls. (That’s what spammers do, silly.)
  5. You friended too many people. (Not so long ago this was a prime cause of disabled accounts, but Facebook has instituted a maximum of 5000 friends that should protect you from yourself.)
  6. Your school/organization affiliation is doubtful.
  7. You’re poking too many people. (Beware the odd FB app that pokes on your behalf.)
  8. You advertised your app on wall posts.
  9. You used duplicate text in multiple messages.
  10. You are a cow, dog, or library.
  11. You are under 18 years old and not part of a High School group.
  12. You wrote offensive content.
  13. You scraped information off Facebook. E.g. Facebook bots disabled Robert Scoble’s account.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by J.K. in Possibilities, Problems, Technology | View Comments |

Ethical Social Media Marketing

12 Feb 2009 (Thu)

“… ALL MEDIA IS SOCIAL AND ALL SOCIAL IS MEDIA,” wrote Edelman Digital director Steve Rubel in his Micro Persuasion blog this month (”All Media is Social, All Social is Media“) and last October (”Ethical Social Media Marketing“).

In the February 2009 post, Rubel commented:

Steve Rubel, SVP, Director of Insights for Edelman Digital“Yet many, particularly in PR, still treat ordinary citizens, traditional journalism and branded content as distinct islands of media. Going forward, it’s best to see them as a contiguous archipelago.

“Consider that in 2008 some 58 percent of newspapers featured some form of user-generated content on their sites, according to the Bivings Group. This is up from just 24 percent in 2007. The mix includes: user-generated photos (58 percent), homegrown video (18 percent) and articles (15 percent). Meanwhile, the number of newspaper sites that are allowing readers to comment on articles has more than doubled to 75 percent.

“On the other side of the coin, we’ve seen time and again that social networks like Facebook, Friendfeed and Twitter are now essential sources of news and information for millions.”

This brings us to the social media ethics question. In the October 2008 post, Rubel wrote:

“First, all things social are media and all things media are now social – so I am not sure what “social media” is any more.

“More importantly, social media marketing also implies that social networks, blogs and other like channels are advertising venues. They’re not. They’re public spaces just like our great National Parks. We must respect them as such. Otherwise we’re going to pollute the environment and make them less enjoyable for everyone - especially the citizens who thrive there, just like the amazing ecosystem that thrives in places like Yellowstone…

“Social media marketing works best when it’s integrated into the experience and takes a “win-win” approach.”

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Posted by J.K. in Possibilities, Problems, Social Media | View Comments |

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