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Social Networks Crime

Tweets and Threats: Gangs Find New Home On the Net 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the using-foursquare-to-check-into-your-crackhouse dept.
cold fjord send this quote from the Associated Press: "Social media has exploded among street gangs. ... They're turning to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to flaunt guns and wads of cash, threaten rivals, intimidate informants ... sell weapons, drugs — even plot murder. 'What's taking place online is what's taking place in the streets,' says David Pyrooz, an assistant professor at Sam Houston State University. ... 'The Internet does more for a gang's brand or a gang member's identity than word-of-mouth could ever do. It really gives the gang a wide platform to promote their reputations. ... On the crime-fighting side ... this activity ... is transforming how police and prosecutors pursue gangs. Along with traditional investigative techniques, police monitor gangs online. [A] Cincinnati police officer who trains other law enforcement about social media says by the time gang members appear in court, authorities have a dossier of their words and videos online that challenge how they want to portray themselves. 'If a guy goes in and says, "I'm a good person. I've never held a gun," we can say, "Look at what he puts out about himself on social media. Here he is with a gun."'"
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Tweets and Threats: Gangs Find New Home On the Net

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  • by DontScotty (978874) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @12:09AM (#45930019) Homepage Journal

    Online footprints nearly reach fingerprint parity

    And, since the criminals won't stop at just one crime, they can even turn around and cyber-bully the officer who took them down

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/02/alleged-gang-member-cyberbullies-cop-on-facebook.html [nymag.com]
     
    -- just another casual observation on why gang members can sometime gather notoriety for being as dumb as regular social media users.

    • the criminals won't stop at just one crime, they can even turn around and cyber-bully the officer who took them down

      I know "bullying" is the new magic pass-phrase, but is that really bullying? He threatened the cop and got arrested for his trouble. Nobody seemed "bullied" to me.

      • As a general rule, anything in which the word 'cyber' appears can be dismissed. This has been the case ever since popular misuse of the term 'cybernetics' caused its meaning to shift.

  • by koan (80826)

    Not the sharpest tools in the shed are they.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not the sharpest tools in the shed are they.

      These are gangstas. Gangstas are poor, urban, uneducated, semiliterate, illmannered young black men who were raised by bitchy, morbidly obese single mothers, who think being a street thug is cool, and have terrible marksmanship. They don't wear belts and let their pants hang off their flabby asses because their homies in prison aren't allowed to have belts and they think prison is something to celebrate. They get teardrop tattoos to mourn the homies who got shot but it doesn't occur to them that a better

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Sounds like someone is bitter he's not getting any Slot B action.

      • by Z00L00K (682162)

        That's what the military calls "gun fodder".

      • Re:Laugh (Score:4, Informative)

        by sfcat (872532) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @07:24AM (#45931203)

        They get teardrop tattoos to mourn the homies who got shot

        I was going to mod you down but then you had to go and make that comment about teardrop tattoos. Those mean you killed someone in prison and are not about their friends/hommies. Bangers pour out 40s and graffitti names to remember their homies.

        What was that about liberals who don't know about the real world again?

        PS Programs like SNAP, WIC and EBT generally reduce crime and you fools just cut it. Hope you have a good home security system...cause you might be meeting some of these fine upstanding citizens in the near future if you get your way too much longer...

        • Is there an agreed upon tattoo code? I'd imagine there is a lot of national and even regional variation.

        • Hope you have a good home security system...cause you might be meeting some of these fine upstanding citizens in the near future if you get your way too much longer...

          12 gauge should do it.

        • Re:Laugh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by LoRdTAW (99712) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @01:44PM (#45932691)

          "PS Programs like SNAP, WIC and EBT generally reduce crime and you fools just cut it."

          It does and it doesn't. WIC, EBT and SNAP benefits single mothers with children and other disabled people. But very often those services often help nurture the "ghetto family". Basically an irresponsible woman has multiple children from multiple men. She finally has enough kids to live comfortably without a job and eventually a man (often one of her baby daddy's) sees the perfect opportunity: free living! Since the woman will settle for any man willing to put up with her and her kids the leech will happily move in to her welfare paid apartment and eat welfare paid meals. So he gets a nice free ride. And with so much free time on his hands he can no go out and mingle with the other respectable family men in his neighborhood. Often the man needs a little money on the side and knows damn well that work is for suckers. So he turns to dealing drugs and other criminal activities to give him some pocket money. He of course is still screwing more women on the side but he doesn't care because he has his sugar momma waiting at home. What happens when his sugar momma's welfare money dries up? Well duh! He has been screwing women the whole time and has a trail of kids. One of those women is bound to have a brood of young children he can leech off of. Plus he can wave around a bit of his ill gotten cash to lure her in. So he leaves the now former sugar momma for another and the cycle repeats.

          Some people will find this racist. It isn't. Its a sad truth that no one wants to hear. So they plug their ears while shouting racism! And I have witnessed it first hand through a few families I know. Its sad when you see children growing up in a household where their siblings all have different men who aren't around and no one is actively encouraging them to break the cycle. Everyone is uneducated and frustrated in life because they have nothing to show for it. The men often only have their street cred to show off which keeps the cycle of violence going.

          The solution is simple: education. Though this has to start at home with at least one caring parent. And often the parents are so ignorant and uncaring that they are useless.

          • Some people will find this racist

            Intelligent people call it "black culture".
            Black people call it "keepin it real". (Remember the negress with the popular EBT "swiping" song?)
            Libtards call it "racist" with their fists balled up and crocodile tears squirting out the corners of their eyes.

            • by LoRdTAW (99712)

              "Libtards" or as I like to call them: white middle class people riddled with white guilt who have no clue about black and Hispanic ghetto culture. They don't know any black or Hispanic people save for a few coworker acquaintances who unlike the majority of black and Hispanics, got an education because their parents gave a damn. They are always the first ones to cry racism in the most condescending and self righteous manner possible when they clearly have no business. But they do it anyway because it makes t

          • Some people will call this racist? What, just because your argument is, "don't feed them, they'll just breed"? My goodness, what could be racist about that?

            Your position, essentially, is that poor, black people are morally and intellectually inferior and they deserve to have shitty lives. But definitely not racism!

            • by LoRdTAW (99712)

              "What, just because your argument is, "don't feed them, they'll just breed"?"

              Where did I state that?

              "Your position, essentially, is that poor, black people are and they deserve to have shitty lives."

              Don't put words in my mouth. I never stated any of that and I never said only black people. You made that bit up. You also may want to re-evaluate what you think is racist because I can sit here and point out that your assumption is racist. You stated that blacks are morally and intellectually inferior. Did you

      • Gotta love the ivory tower, smug liberal Slashdotters that are so numerous lately. Never actually being in a real ghetto and seeing real gangbangers

        Do you think? (rhetorical question given the nature of your statement) What about trailer parks? Or have you failed to notice (the self-evident truth) that stupid has nothing to do with skin colour?

      • Hi! I taught high school in what is known as a "persistently dangerous school" in a very poor, rather black area of Philadelphia. So hopefully I'm qualified to tell you this: holy fuck, are you racist. I mean holy SHIT dude. If you're not going to rein that in, at least don't vomit it on the rest of us please.
    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      The problem here is that those show-offs draws the attention of the law enforcement from the ones working silently. Some of the silent ones can be even more dangerous because you don't know who they are and where they will strike.

      And if you have a show-off gang in an area it's easy to put down evidence that at least circumstantially indicates that gang.

      • by Threni (635302)

        > The problem here is that those show-offs draws the attention of the law enforcement
        > from the ones working silently. Some of the silent ones can be even more
        > dangerous because you don't know who they are and where they will strike.

        So...there's no problem then. The silent ones aren't drawing any attention because no-one knows they're doing it. The police won't know about it until, typically, someone tells them about it, at which point they'll know about it. Then again, the police are largely con

        • by Z00L00K (682162)

          And even if someone tells the cops about the low profile gangs the cops will have a hard time to isolate them. People had a hard time to believe that an animal like the platypus did exist even when presented with dead ones. An egg-laying mammal with a duck bill? Or the fictional criminal Keyser Söze. (or is he really a fictional criminal?)

    • by mikael (484)

      As one detective said: "Every dumb criminal is a failure of the education system"

      There was something like 75% illiteracy in the prisons. These guys couldn't read or write, never mind actually figure out that CCTV cameras could record past events and replay them in the future. When the police used predictive analysis to determine future crime scenes, and staked out the joint, the caught criminals would claim they had been "set up".

  • We make the world such an ugly place. Makes sense it would spread to places where there's an absence.
  • by mendax (114116) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @12:14AM (#45930045)

    Well, is it? The Mafia used all the tools of legitimate business such double-entry accounting techniques and computers long ago to run their businesses. Just because these thugs are less classy than the Mafia doesn't make them any less willing to use modern tools.

    But my concerns go beyond how the gangs are using these tools to do their dirty business. In the past, courts have outlawed gangs and ordered gang members to not associate with each other. Are these restrictions, restrictions which are constitutionally iffy, going to soon extend into cyberspace? Yes, they are criminal organizations and those who join them criminals, but does that necessarily mean that these people can never use cyberspace?

    • "...less classy than the Mafiaâ¦"

      Wow, that's saying something. I didn't think it was even possible to be less classy than the mafia.

      • by mendax (114116)

        Mafia dons wear better suits and more tasteful bling than the "gangsta" wastes of skin.

        • by wbr1 (2538558)
          You are just as dead if killed by a crip for your car and shoes as you are by some low level mafia puke for not paying protection.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            You are just as dead if killed by a crip for your car and shoes as you are by some low level mafia puke for not paying protection.

            Yeah, but at least the last thing you see isn't some clown with his pants falling down.

      • by cusco (717999)

        Mafiosos used to be known for supporting orphanages, schools, the Catholic church (which some still think denotes a certain amount of class, for some reason), protecting children (until they were old enough to take or become hookers), and eliminating the street hoods that were the face of crime to the average citizen. The settled arguments between neighbors and groups who couldn't afford to go to court and hadn't gotten satisfaction from the regular authorities. So yeah, they did have some class, at least

    • by martas (1439879)

      In the past, courts have outlawed gangs and ordered gang members to not associate with each other. Are these restrictions, restrictions which are constitutionally iffy, ...

      AFAIK these only ever apply to parolees, which I don't see a constitutional problem with in principle.

  • Post-Snowden, even the most clueless moron must know that social media are under constant surveillance and that all said there is being recorded.

    • by The_Star_Child (2660919) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @12:38AM (#45930161)
      Street thugs don't strike me as particularly conscientious.
    • by sumdumass (711423)

      I'm not sure these people even care about Snowden or even heard of him or the details of his exploits. They aren't the type of people to pick up a news paper or watch the evening news unless someone they know is in it. I'm not sure if that makes them morons, but it certainly doesn't help them not be one. But remember, many times in life it is better to be more on then off- especially when near the edge of a cliff.

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @12:55AM (#45930239)

      Anyone who ever had some fingers in the organized crime, on either side of the fence, knows that there are things to avoid. Being the guy to pick up the money from a money laundering deal is not where you want to be, since it's the point where the police can actually get busy. Likewise, being the guy selling the drugs on the street ain't the best position in the drug train since that's where you're easy to grab.

      And it's unlikely that being the social media guy for gangs is a very popular position unless you're planning to be a vital part to the federal prison system and job security for wardens. But someone's gotta do it, and some poor idiot will be doing it. Just like there's always some poor idiot willing to sell drugs or be the money mule.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by fermion (181285)
      People are not clueless, they just sometimes don't get that the laws and regulations are context sensitive. For example, when some people play with a gun in the street it is assumed that they are responsible gun owners [huffingtonpost.com] and will only use it to shoot vermin and people they think are criminals or people they think they can shoot and claim self defense.

      Other if they have a gun are assumed to be criminals and be shot on sight, or brought up on charges for nothing more than having a gun. And this is silly bec

    • The NSA isn't concerned with street crime. Or crime in general. They can't use their vast powers for law enforcement, as that would mean revealing sources in court. Classified sources. At most they may take part in some 'parallel construction' techniques - sending a bit of off-the-record information to police that can't be used in court, but can be used to more easily obtain evidence that can, like telling them which car to stop for a 'random' drug search.

      • by cusco (717999)

        I haven't heard of the NSA informing law enforcement organizations of anything in years, probably since Ronnie Raygun's time. The CIA and DEA on the other hand make sure to point out which cars NOT to stop so that their "confidential informant" (i.e. buddy who is giving them kickbacks) is left alone.

        • Of course you havn't heard of it. That's the point. The NSA may or may not lend some support to law enforcement operations, but if they do then they'll be careful not to let the general public find out.

          • by gweihir (88907)

            In fact, they are known to inform the DEA, FBI routinely, but have the DEA, FBI, etc. commit perjury by "parallel construction". How this works is simple: The DEA, FBI, etc. make up a credible fairy-tale about how they could have gotten the evidence directly. Then they claim in court and under oath that the fairy-tale is the truth. As they are part of the police-state establishment, nothing happens to them for this highly criminal act.

            As to how dangerous this is, just consider that the next step is to make

    • Post-Snowden, even the most clueless moron must know that social media are under constant surveillance and that all said there is being recorded.

      Posting something to the internet IS recording, whether or not the NSA or anyone else is looking at it in real-time.

  • We'll be giving up our liberties. You don't want these murderous thugs getting away now, do you?
    • Could you expand on that claim a bit? The only people I can see "losing their liberties" over this are the thugs providing evidence by advertising their crimes on Youtube. You'll losing their liberties by conviction for their crimes and going to jail. You seem to think there is more to it than that. Could you provide some details?

    • by sumdumass (711423)

      You won't need to give up any liberties. In order for these new found thug tactics to be effective, they have to be in the open which is about like taking an ad out in the news paper, placing a sign in your front yard or someone else's yard or something. There is nothing wrong with the cops reading the news paper or looking at billboards or even looking at your public postings on social media.

  • Legal question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Okian Warrior (537106) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @01:19AM (#45930321) Homepage Journal

    One thing I've wondered about of late is the reliability of evidence collected on the internet.

    We've heard cases where someone was arrested because they admitted to something on Twitter [huffingtonpost.com], or had a picture of themselves doing something wrong on Facebook [about.com], and so on.

    Absent any other evidence, is admission of guilt on the internet sufficient to convict someone in ideal circumstances?

    Does anyone here with legal knowledge know the answer?

    (I understand that you can get convicted of anything for any reason, and even for no reason, but I'm wondering about theory here. What's the situation, given an honest judge and correct representation?)

    (And no, I'm not seeking legal advice on the internet since I'm not accused of a crime.)

    Some examples of late: picture of teenager holding a beer (or holding a joint) leads to alcohol/drug charges, tweeting that you were driving drunk [ninemsn.com.au], and so on.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Being a resident of Toronto, and having a mayor that has admitted in real life to smoking crack with known gangsters, no I would say admission of guilt alone is not enough. There has to be more specific evidence. Heck the police have a video of him smoking crack taken from a gang raid, and he's still running our city.

      *I would point out that I have no issue with his crack use, just the lying about it, and his "zero tolerance" regarding gangs.

    • by Guest316 (3014867)
      Probably depends on how expensive a legal team you can hire.
    • INAL, but I do have some knowledge. As always you should seek the advice of a lawyer for sound legal advice.

      The answer is, it depends. Having a video tape of yourself committing a crime, or that contains photographic proof that you are involved in some way (e.g. possessing stolen goods) will almost certainly be enough to provide probable cause for an arrest and investigation, and even an indictment. It may or may not be enough evidence to get you convicted depending on the circumstances and body of law.

    • To expand on my previous comment....

      I don't think you would want to have to explain away a video like these. They are well into slam dunk prosecution territory.

      2nd Video of Baltimore Tourist being Stripped and Beaten [youtube.com]
      Crazy Vandals destroy house but get their comeuppance! [youtube.com]

    • More importantly, can the pictures be trusted in a world of Photoshop.

      If it's one picture, it should be taken with a grain of salt.

      My sister affectionately refers to my niece as "the little monkey." So I photoshopped giant monkey ears and some hair on her and sent it to my sister. Everyone laughed. But if you found it on my facebook, believe me, it wouldn't be evidence my niece is the missing link.

      I could see it being "cool" to photoshop the equivalent of a scar face photo.

      And maybe if someone was out to

    • by mikael (484)

      There has to be physical evidence. Having a video someone snort white powder up their snozzle, isn't going to be enough. You'd need a sample of that white powder to put in an evidence bag Then you have to prove that the evidence bag hasn't been tampered with. The only way to achieve that chain of events is to stake out a place with concealed cameras, have officers ready to make arrests and forensic technicians to gather all the evidence. Even then, all that work can be undone when the crime lab goofs up the

  • by Anonymous Coward

    is 'Gangs of Facebook'.

    Just doesn't have quite the same impact.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    criminals are still stupid, and its spreading.

    Film at 11.

  • time to ban groups with mob or gang in there name from the web and if so groups useing names with them in part will get banned even if they are not even a law breaking group.

  • Look at what he puts out about himself on social media. Here he is with a spork.

  • Old and not news (Score:4, Informative)

    by edibobb (113989) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @03:14AM (#45930655) Homepage
    This has been used on slow news days for years. 2012 [cnet.com], 2011 [techdirt.com], and 2006 [seattlepi.com], for example.
    • by lxs (131946)

      It does have poor people with guns and that newfangled internet thingy in it. Perfect for preying on suburban fears and getting pageviews.

  • "When a man is tired of the Internet, he is tired of life; for there is on the Internet all that life can afford."
  • Have no criminals learned from D(r)ead Pirate Roberts ?

    The more you conspire in the open and don't cover your tracks(which is extremly hard) ONE link between you and your secret identity is busted.

    • He had a good run though. Ran the internet's premier public drugs trading website for years before the law finally caught up with him. I think that's quite impressive. He should have quit once he was wealthy enough to never have to work again - taken his millions, destroyed the site and all evidence, emigrated and disappeared. He didn't know when to quit.

  • "I'm a good person. I've never held a gun,"

    That juxtaposition suggests the speaker cannot imagine that good people can hold guns.

    • Yes, that was the first thing I noticed too. The thing about proving someone is lying I get, the initial supposition that, as you say, good people wouldn't hold guns speaks volumes about how screwed up our world has become.
  • by TheCarp (96830) <sjc@carp a n e t . net> on Sunday January 12, 2014 @09:10AM (#45931463) Homepage

    but... it seems to me a more effective strategy would involve...I dunno...maybe they should stop funding the gangs by providing them with the profitable drug market to draw from and buy their guns in the first place?

    The police and their politician masters created the gangs....again. Just like they did back in the 20s.

  • Your social media information is public, even if you've specified "friends only." This makes it a treasure trove for any investigator.

    While we're all in high gear about NSA surveillance, what about the greater likelihood of giving ourselves away by reckless use of our own personal information?

  • .. was what some defendent in the UK posted on Facebook when it looked like there wasn't quite enough evidence to convict him. Which was reported to the judge. Who took it as an admission of guilt, and the guy got convicted.

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