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Monday, September 26, 2011

Social Networking on Trial

Facebook, the largest online social network was in the local news last week when a 13-year old boy shot a 16-year old boy inside a mall in a fit of jealousy.  The name of the site was dragged into the case because allegedly, the young gunman wrote on his page his intent to do harm to his lover.

This is not the first time that Facebook has been blamed for a crime committed here.  A few months back, a young woman was killed after meeting with a Facebook contact in her apartment.  After that, a celebrity was seriously wounded after a tryst with a contact from the same social networking site.  Both victims have never met their contacts before and they only knew them through the site.

from google.com

I am just surprised that in each case, authorities dragged Facebook in the case like it's its fault that these crimes happened.  Instead at looking at the behavior of the perpetrators and their victims, they quickly turn the site into a scapegoat.

I use Facebook and other social networking sites like Twitter, Plurk, Multiply, etc.  The only thing that I can say to fellow users is to treat these virtual communities as different as possible to the real world.  One can easily create a profile on these sites and that's where the danger lies:  your friend may not be who and what he claims to be,  So exercise caution.


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