Essential Pittsburgh
3:02 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

The Dark Side of Social Media: Criminal Activity Displayed Online

Credit Mehfuz Hossain / flickr

People share so much of their lives on social media, from vacation photos to music and book choices. This over-sharing of information has extended to the bold and casual admittance of criminal activity.

David Harris, Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law University of Pittsburgh School of Law says the rape case in Steubenville, Ohio is an example of how ever-present social media can play an important role in criminal cases.

“That case would not have come to anyone’s notice but for the fact that people at those parties were posting about them, that there was a video out there, all of this stuff was out there. Without that, there would have been no evidence at all and no case.”

Harris says individuals can reduce their internet presence by asking friends and family whenever possible to refrain from posting specific pictures or information online, because even after something is deleted, there is always a way to retrieve the content.