Social media plays large role in Louisville teen violence problem
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Authorities say social media is not only playing a large part in solving crimes, but also in instigating them.
It's an easy way to reach millions in a matter of seconds, and for criminals, its become a way to brag.
"People like the notoriety and they like to draw the attention-- even if they haven't done the crime," said Louisville Metro Police spokesperson Officer Carey Klain.
With a unit dedicated to monitoring social media, Klain said once criminals post things online, it doesn't take long for police to find it.
"They go through and they use their skills and determine which ones are a true threat."
She said it does become difficult to confirm identity since people may hide behind a fake name or picture, but that there are people specially trained to uncover the truth.
When teen mobs terrorized downtown Louisville less than two weeks ago, posts popped up across social media talking about a gathering in Waterfront Park. Police say teens were getting together to remember stabbing victim Me'Quale Ouffit. That night, teen mobs terrorized downtown Louisville.
Louisville youth mentor Scott Mitchell says organizing violent or criminal attacks through social media is common.
"I'm going to get you today, right now," Mitchell gives an example of a common post of ensuing violence. He says it usually happens quickly, and they often record the encounters. "That's usually the signal, the phones go up, you know something is going to happen."
Mitchell says teens try and gain street credibility by posting fights to websites like Facebook, YouTube, and hip hop site World Star.
"Anything that's going to make them look good or get them street credibility, that's what they want."
Police say following the March 22 violence in downtown Louisville, they received plenty of tips via social media.
However, police say they don't monitor Facebook and Twitter 24 hours a day so they ask everyone direct tips to (502) 574-LMPD
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