The Dark Side Of Facebook
Facebook has more than 845 million active users; these users are constantly updating statuses and sharing their social relationships. Though Facebook is perceived as a fun and entertaining social media website, it may also have a dark side. Recently Facebook is becoming more involved in the motivation for murder. Murder has always been defined as a crime of passion and with more people being connected through online social networks they are increasingly becoming attached to the content being posted.
In September 2009, twenty six year old Sara Richardson was brutally murdered by her ex-husband Edward, due to the fact that after the divorce she changed her Facebook status from married to single. By seeing this status change Edward became jealous with the thought of her being available for another man. He then broke into her parent’s home where she was staying and stabbed her to death.
This video goes into more detail about the Richardson murder.
You can see now how psychologically damaging Edwards’s feelings could have been from his wife changing her status. The one reporter compared it to yelling off a rooftop that they had spit up. I’m sure Sara was not trying to humiliate her ex-husband, it seemed she had waited about a year to change her marital status clearly allowing enough grieving time.
There have been similar incidences where other women have been attacked because of actions done on Facebook. According to the Telegraph a European paper, they said, “ Reports of crimes allegedly involving Facebook have increased by 346 percent in the last year.” In other cases online predators are making false identities to gain trust of younger girls. In April 2010 Peter Chapman, made a false Facebook account and began an online relationship with 17 year old Ashleigh Hall. Chapman set a time for them to meet in person and raped and murdered Ashleigh.
As you can see from the two examples, the situations are very different but the outcome (death) and the resource (Facebook) are the same. The incident with the Richardson family is to a high extreme of how people will react to Facebook post/statuses, but is not the only incident. People have (been) murdered over being un-“friended,” having embarrassing pictures posted of them and ect… It might seem ridiculous that a person would get that up set over a quick post that another person didn’t even consider to be hurtful. The reality is Facebook and other online social networks are becoming more than just a website they are part of peoples lives.
Since Facebook also allows you to create numerous accounts allowing people to have false profiles. Its important to have your profile secure and make sure that your information is not open to the world. Also making sure you are not accepting friend request from unknown users. By taking these precautions you can eliminate the risk of harm and better protect yourself from the online dangers.
Unknown Author, Crimes involving Facebook up 346pc.’ The Telegraph. 02/17/2012.
Daily mail reporter, Number Of Crimes Involving Facebook Leaps 346% In A Year. Mail Online. 4/2/2010
Prime News. Facebook Status Murder. Youtube. 09/12/2009.
Unknown Author, 13 Craziest Deaths Caused by Social Media. Ranker. Unknown date.