The popularity of Facebook continues to grow and really cannot be denied: if it was a country it would be the third biggest in the world, and as with most things where there are people there is crime.
So it should really come as no surprise that a report released by Cambridgeshire Police revealed that crime related to the popular social networking site has increased over the same period of time that the popularity of the site has, although the percentage itself may seem a little worrying at first.
However you shouldn’t be as worried as that figure implies, as far as the raw figures are concerned within Cambridgeshire crimes related to Facebook rose from a next-to-nothing figure of 22 in 2007 to a slightly more significant value of just over 1,600.
The main reason for this is incredibly obvious: more people are using Facebook now than they were in 2007 and in reality the 7500% increase figure is little more than scaremongering by ‘The Mirror’ that has been running with this story. In fact if you want a good example of some statistics presented in a way designed to stir up distress in a grammatically simplistic manner then head over to the website, but it’s not really worth the effort!
So whilst certain aspects of the figures are a little misleading, there are still some interesting snippets of data in there: for example Facebook was linked to 255 domestic violence incidents, 426 of malicious nuisance and 210 of anti-social behaviour all the kind of thinks that you would expect from a social networking site.
Of course it is true that some of these incidents will related to incidents where the “website has been used by perverts to groom victims and by criminals to make threats, intimidate, bully and harass people” but these will be an incredibly small number of the cases in the grand scheme of things, and these statistics clearly show that Facebook is used much more as a modern alternative for committing the same sort of crimes that we saw three years ago.
Det Sgt Darren Cooper of Parkside police station in Cambridge (where all these statistics originated from) said: “The Facebook phenomenon is just amazing. Everyone seems to be using it and we certainly get a lot of calls that are Facebook related. There has been a study set up within the force as to how we can use it legally as there are issues of entrapment if used covertly. The law is not really clear as yet.”
So all we can really say is that Facebook is being increasingly being used as the method of choice for potential criminals, mostly due to the fact that many more potential criminals are now using the site.
Therefore, just as in real life and elsewhere on the Internet, it’s probably best maintaining a good level of common sense when using social networks, think about what you’re saying and doing, don’t joke about airport bombs on Twitter, be careful your Facebook status isn’t public if saying you’re going on holiday and if something looks too good to be true, then it might well be!
Via – Broadband Genie