Teenagers, especially boys need to be careful about what they post online. 2019 has been a good year for law enforcement throughout the United States and abroad. From catching terrorists, planned school attacks to criminals dumb enough to post what crimes they committed and how they think they got away. Facebook, Twitter, and a slew of other social media sites are helping keep communities around the world safe. I’m 100% for all that, but male teens need to be extra careful of what they say and post online or they can and will be targeted and locked up. More and more young males ages 13-19 years old are being put into the gang and criminal databases for actions as simple as throwing up hand signs, bragging and showing hundreds of dollars wrapped in rubber bands to rapping lyrics to their favorite rap songs. What young males in America don’t understand is even if they haven’t committed a crime, certain social media posts can be interpreted as evidence of gang and criminal activity. There is a program more and more police nationwide are using called “Focused Deterrent.” The program was created after criminologist David Kennedy’s “Ceasefire” policing model which focuses on small groups of people
( Or “Gangs” as police refer to them) Those are suspected of violence in communities. Like similar programs throughout the country, focused deterrent relies on internet surveillance.
Police go through thousands of young people’s social media posts looking to see if their gang-affiliated, bragging about crimes, or what rap lyrics they are singing then compile the information and store it in a database. A lot of social media posted by teens especially young boys are simply being boys and lying, bragging, and just trying to show their peers they cool, with little intent on doing any harm or committing a crime.
Philadelphia last year had a big case of a young man who tweeted out rapper Meek Mill’s Rap lyrics. He was then targeted because the lyrics involved some gun and drug talk. The young man was already on juvenile probation for a school lunchroom fight and placed in the Focused Deterrent database. After police say what he posted they contacted his probation officer and his house with his parents was raided. A gun was found in a bedroom and not where the teen and a friend were playing video games. The teen was arrested and charged with illegally possessing a firearm. The district attorney also argued that the Meek Mill rap song he tweeted was proof that the gun belongs to the teen even though there were no proof or fingerprints the teen had touched the gun. He was later let go when a judge ruled there was no legal basis for the gun charges.
If your a parent with a teen reading this PLEASE talk with your teen and make him/her know how serious Law enforcement is about what they post on their social media accounts and EVERYTHING posted can be seen!