Social Media Attracts Gang Members

Gang members are turning more often to social media sites to brag about their crimes, share intelligence on rivals and network with other gang members across the country.

For example, the notoriously violent MS-13 gang has set up dozens of Facebook accounts with followers from around the world. My Space and Twitter are also popular with gang members looking to share quick bits of information.

So if the gangs are on the Internet that means police departments can’t be far behind in their efforts to control gang-related crimes, said Patrick Fiel, public safety advisor for ADT Security Services.

“Police departments are now training Internet-savvy officers to act as followers and friends on these gang sites,” he said. “They are proving to be a valuable source of information.”

He said police departments have gained access to the gangs’ sites in a number of ways, including posing as young girls.

“The intelligence gained through MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and other Web sites have led to a number of arrests and successful prosecutions,” Fiel said. “It’s becoming one more tool in the law enforcement arsenal.”

According to the Department of Justice's 2008 National Gang Threat Assessment, there are at least 20,000 gangs and more than 1 million active gang members in the U.S.

-- PSW Staff

Sponsored Recommendations

NYPD launches Knightscope security robot service in Manhattan subway

The first two weeks will be spent on training, configuration and setup protocols for the autonomous robot to navigate followed by patrol activities between the hours of 12:00am...

Hornetsecurity releases "Microsoft 365: The Essential Companion Guide"

Microsoft 365: The Essential Companion Guide is a comprehensive resource that provides an in-depth analysis of Microsoft 365 to help users maximize their efforts when using this...

SecurityDNA podcast recap: discussing digital twins, venture capital and smart cities with security industry futurist Jon Polly

Jon Polly utilizes his knowledge of past security trends to analyze the impact that regulating artificial intelligence and the expansion of digital twins will have on the industry...

One in six attacks on U.S. government offices linked to LockBit

The report revealed that many ransomware threat actors are no longer going after "big game" targets, instead focusing on smaller organizations they presume to be less well-defended...