Would You Use Facebook To Catch a Bad Guy?
In Oklahoma, the OK state, an elderly couple was home invaded and held at knifepoint, and the woman was knocked to the ground. During the ensuing abuse, their home was robbed and the predator got away. Not OK.
The police were notified and a description of the home invader was provided to the police. Shortly after, the victims’ granddaughter decided the best course of action would be to post the description on Facebook with the intent of spreading the word to catch him.
Due to the heinous actions of the thief and the fact he was on the loose, the Facebook post went viral, with over 9,000 shares in a short time. The perpetrator’s brother in-law (of all people) saw the Facebook posting and recognized the description, then quickly contacted the granddaughter, then called the police to report his relative. (I’d love to attend their Thanksgiving dinner. Must be a hootin,’ hollerin’ good time!)
Anyway, while justice was served, the local police frowned upon this type of viral APB. Seems the police have a good point, and the force’s public information officer stated, “Friends and family members of the suspect could see that and alert the individual we are out there looking for [him]. … The suspect then could try to hide, run away or even destroy evidence. We always want the public to contact the police first.”
Point well taken. To support the officer’s statement, one only need to look as far as the Boston Marathon bombing and the witch hunt that ensued when Reddit “investigators” accused the wrong guys of planting the bombs. One of them ended up dead a short while later for reasons that are still not clear to me.
What do you think? I think a burglar alarm may have prevented the whole drama from happening in the first place. But would you rely on the internet to help find the bad guy? I’m partial to a yes vote.