Facebook posting can lead to big trouble with the law. And despite all the publicity surrounding the issue, there are real-world examples every day.
On Friday, a Pittsburgh businessman was held hostage by a guy with a knife who made posts on Facebook during the five-hour ordeal. While you’d think focusing on his hostage and negotiations with police would have been paramount, instead the 22-year-old used a computer to post to Facebook comments such as “i cant take it no more im done bro,” and “this life im livin rite now i dnt want anymore,” reports The Associated Press .
Police monitored the kidnapper’s Facebook page but later asked Facebook to shut it down so the man, a guy named Klein Michael Thaxton, could focus on talks with police.
Before Facebook complied, 700 comments from the man’s family and friends showed up in response to his posts. While most were benign, apparently some encouraged Thaxton to behave violently.
Police Chief Nathan Harper said any Facebook users who urged Thaxton to harm his victim or himself could face charges, too, although one has to wonder what kinds of charges those might be.
After Facebook shut down Thaxton’s Facebook page, police arranged to have him speak on the phone with an ex-girlfriend who apparently convinced him to surrender peacefully. This morning Thaxton was charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault and making terroristic threats. His bail is set at $1 million.
Idiotic people who use Facebook while committing crimes are rather common, actually.
As the AP points out, last month a woman who posed as a nurse and kidnapped a newborn at a Pittsburgh hospital was tracked down thanks to posts she made on Facebook regarding a faked pregnancy.