Finding Criminals Using Social Media

Add NewJoseph Kony Viral Video

With social media and online sharing, you can connect with almost anyone and research anything nearly instantly. Social media makes personal data more readily available, and this can prevent criminals from remaining hidden as easily as in the past. Finding criminals with social media can be an example of why technology is beneficial to society, but some critics have doubts about the overall effectiveness of fighting crime online. In the digital age, information technology specialists have an increasing role in tracking down criminals and stopping their actions.

KONY 2012: Most Viral Video Ever

In early March, Invisible Children, a non-profit organization based in San Diego, released a video known as KONY 2012. KONEY 2012 is a 30-minute documentary depicting the criminal acts of Joseph Kony, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army. The video’s goals were to raise awareness of the brutal and inhumane use of child soldiers in African nations such as Uganda. Along with raising awareness, video producers hoped to inspire viewers to contact influential policy-makers and public figures, asking for them to support the chase and arrest of Kony. The African Union agreed to begin a high-powered search for Kony on March 24.

Role of Social Media in KONY 2012

The video went viral. Within a week of its release, 50 million individuals watched it on YouTube. The Pew Internet and American Life Project American determined that KONY 2012 was able to become so popular so fast because of social media. The greatest number of views on YouTube resulted from young adults sharing links on Facebook and Twitter. Invisible Children’s awareness campaign also consisted of an online store to raise money. Merchandise includes posters, bracelets and stickers.

Critics Present Counter Arguments

Soon, controversy arose over whether KONY 2012 was a good use of social media to find crime. These are some of the reasons that have caused some to refer to the campaign as a scam.

The video’s producer, Jason Russell had a psychotic breakdown, shortly after its release, because of the pressure of its popularity. This incident signifies that people now associate KONY 2012 with Russell and not the intended target, Kony.

Accusations have surfaced over the concern that KONY 2012 and viral hits can provide potentially misleadinginformation and be an oversimplification of the news. The unfortunate situation in Uganda has many contributing factors, and will not be solved simply by finding a single man.

The New York Times raises the point that viral videos can potentially interfere with real change because they imply that solutions are as straightforward as sending money by clicking a link or purchasing campaign merchandise. Individuals may mistake donations for true civic engagement.

Criminals have a more difficult time hiding because of use of social media. Individuals in the public are more willing and able to provide information to legal enforcement agencies, and information can be instantly available to the world if someone posts it online. IT specialists play a significant role in finding criminals online because of their expertise in encoding, programming languages and software.

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About Brandon Leibowitz

is a Social Media fanatic. His blog, Bosmol, is based on trending stories on various topics related to social media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Plus, Internet Marketing, Social Bookmarking, Smartphones, SEO, and many other topics. Established in Los Angeles, California in 2007. Subscribe to us to receive the latest news and updates first. Please feel free to comment back.

  • Designer Bridal Wear

    Nice information…Thanks for sharing….i learn lots of thing here

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  • dsim

    not the best idea “finding criminals online” by casual user, 

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  • Sermorelin

    Although social media plays a major role to keep people in contact but it is not a good idea ‘finding criminals online.

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  • Clyde Mounce

    I cried while watching the KONY 2012 video on Youtube. But then I got skeptic also. Specially when I read on the news that the Founder of Invisible Children is doing some weird things in public.

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  • James W

    the kony 2012 documentary is the real proof how social media and internet itself is growing stronger every day, The power of social media for kony 2012 was amazing and kinda like some invisible force is fighting against the criminals, that force are people like you and me :)

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  • Anton Koekemoer

    Great post – Thanks for sharing. And yes – I do tend to agree , people now do associate KONY 2012 with Russell and not really the intended target, Kony.

    Soon we might find Russel marketing “Kony 2013″ on his own online Persona and brand name? Its a marketing strategy that I’m sure will work if implemented correctly. 

    Thanks for sharing the post. Made for a great read. 

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  • John Ernest

    I read one Facebook post about criminals that robbed a computer shop. Well during the flight of events, one of them can’t resist the urge and just have to check his Facebook account. And maybe because of how fast they are operating, he forgot to log out the account. This led the police to where he lives and captures the other robbers.

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