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Have you guys ever wonder that how social media has influences to the crime ?

As technology advances, people must adapt to a new way of life. From face-to-face communication to newspapers, television, and finally social media, as well as the methods of crime that have evolved over time too. Nowadays, the number of crimes is increasing. Research tells us that some crimes have been influenced by the media, but when social media came along it was not only the social media influences that led to crime, but it also created more ways of committing crime, which we called “cyber-crime”. Social media, on the other hand, not only has a negative impact on crime, but it also plays a positive role in the creation of criminal law and aids in case justification.

There has been research that Social media and Mass media plays a role in influencing more real life crime by the portrayal of crime. 

-The media reporting of crime usually focused on violence , crimes by minors and crimes by those with a mental illness. It represents the distorted view of the real situation or it can be called “ over-reported”. In Television ,  print and online news crime was over-reported especially about violence crime which made the misunderstanding about crime which led to fear of crime and overestimated the amount of crime in society. For example , in this post “ Australians generally overestimate the level of Crime in their community. Media representations of crime are partly responsible for this” 

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-The impact that come from influence of crime portrayal in media : the more amount of crime and over-reported crime will increase this impact especially on children 

1. Fear of crime: The media often reports on crime and violence, which can lead to a heightened fear of crime among the public. This fear can result in people taking more precautions and being more vigilant, but it can also lead to a distorted perception of the actual crime rate.

2. Copycat crimes: Some individuals may be influenced by media coverage of crimes and attempt to replicate them.Studies have found a correlation between media violence and increased aggression, especially in children and adolescents. This phenomenon has been observed in cases such as school shootings and mass murders. For example, in the case of the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, where two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, carried out a mass shooting at their school in Colorado, killing 13 people and injuring many others. The two had reportedly been influenced by violent video games and movies, and had even made references to them in their journals and videos. Even this example does not come from the media crime news but it can confirm that consuming the violence can really  lead to the copycat effect.

Not only the crime that is reported on social media influences more crime but the social media itself creates more ways of commiting crime too.

Social Media not only influences people mind about crime but also creates more way of crime 

The advent of social media made things easier for humankind. Social media allows users to connect with each other within the world through chat rooms , audio-video calls, or live video streams, which decreases the gap between persons. On the other hand, people’s privacy, security, and dignity have been threatened by social media because it contains our personal information, which can lead to crime. The thing that facilitates our lives to become easier also facilitates the criminal to commit crime wherever and whenever they want, which never occurred before social media came along.

This crime is called “ Cybercrime“

The term “Cybercrime” refers to offenses committed through the use of computers, the internet, or particularly social media which can be roughly divided into three categories, based on their influence.

1. Individual  : A cybercrime that impacted to individuals

Cyberstalking : The use of social media or other online platforms to harass or stalk someone in a way that upsets, discomfort , or humiliates the victim.

Online trafficking : An illegal trade of goods or services over the internet and social media, including the sale of drugs, weapons, counterfeit products, and human trafficking. For example , selling women, children, laborers, child pornography, drugs or selling organs in social media.

Cyberbullying and harassment : This is the use of digital technologies to harass, threaten , or humiliate someone on social media. This can include spreading rumors, misinformation, and insults about someone. Cyberbullying also includes posting embarrassing images or videos on social media. These actions make the victim feel abusive and hurtful.

Cyber-chasing : A procedure where a person’s location using data is provided which is available on social media platforms. These days , geotagging has become widespread.

2.Property : Loss of property was caused by this cybercrime. This type of cybercrime is mostly related to personal information stealing that causes financial loss or damage to property.

Identity theft : It is a common cybercrime that involves the stealing of a person’s personal information, such as their name, address, social security number, and credit card information. With the widespread use of social media platforms, identity thieves have found new ways to obtain personal information from users.

Scams : This is a  fraudulent scheme or deception designed to trick people into giving away their money, personal information, or other valuable assets. Scams are typically carried out using various forms of communication, including email, phone calls, text messages, and social media. There are many types of scam for example : lottery scams (fake lottery) , charity scams (fake charity) , investment scams , online dating scams.the most common one is phishing scam (using fake emails or websites to trick people into giving away their personal information or login credentials and Employment scams ( offering fake job opportunities that require an upfront fee or personal information.) 

Hacking from social media : the act of gaining unauthorized access to social media accounts for the purpose of stealing personal information, spreading malware, or launching attacks on other users. Hacking can take many forms and can be carried out by individuals or groups with various motivations, including financial gain, political activism, or personal vendettas.

–  Malware attacks : Using malicious software such as viruses, worms, or Trojans to infect computer systems and steal data, disrupt operations, or cause damage.  A phishing email is one of the simplest ways for a hacker to take your login information, access your account, and send out risky links. You’ll find this when you go into your account, damage may already have been done. Another way to distribute malware is to encase it in something else. You may become infected with malware if someone makes a false account, be friends with you, and shares a photo or weird link with you. 

Burglary via Social Networking : This type of crime cannot be directly committed on social networking platforms as they do not involve physical access to property but social networking sites can provide information that may be used to facilitate a burglary. Criminals plan and locate burglary targets by using information about people’s activities on social media in order to know where the prey are and what they are doing. This sensitive information about the victim is likely to be the target of criminals as long as they have the perfect time and chance to get into the victim’s home while the victim is not at home. Criminals prefer easy prey.

Social Engineering : The majority of cybercrime committed is social engineering . Social engineering is a tactic used in cybercrime that involves manipulating people into performing actions or divulging sensitive information. The goal of social engineering is to exploit human vulnerabilities such as trust, fear, and curiosity to gain access to secure systems or data. Social engineering attacks can take many forms, including phishing emails, pretexting, baiting, For example, an attacker might create a fake account and send messages to a user pretending to be a friend or family member, asking for money or sensitive information or attackers may post links or messages offering free gifts or services in exchange for clicking on a link or downloading a file. The link or file may contain malware or be designed to steal sensitive information.

Intellectual property theft : This type of cybercrime can also easily be seen in social media and many people did not notice that they are committing this cybercrime. This is the unauthorized use or theft of someone else’s intellectual property, such as using copyrighted materials without giving consent in commercial.

3. Government – Cybercrimes that cause devastation to the public , create panic situations and against the government are included in this category. 

Cyber-terrorism : An internet and technology use to carry out violent or politically motivated attacks that result in physical harm, destruction of infrastructure, or disruption of essential services. Cyber-terrorists use computer systems, networks, and the internet to launch attacks on critical infrastructure such as power grids, transportation systems, and financial institutions, with the aim of causing widespread fear, panic, and disruption.

Cyberespionage : The use of technology to steal sensitive information from other countries or organizations for political, economic , military gain.

This is just an example of the cybercrime that many people face nowadays. There are a lot more of cybercrime on social media because cybercrime has been increasing in recent years in various ways. With the widespread use of technology and the internet, more and more people are becoming vulnerable to various forms of cybercrime. The digital citizen has to know the mechanisms of cybercrime, and governments and organizations around the world have to take steps to combat cybercrime, such as increasing funding for cybersecurity measures, implementing stricter regulations, and promoting awareness campaigns to educate the public about the risks and best practices for staying safe online.

Even social media creates more crime but social media also helps improve criminal justice system

1. Social media leads to better law : Social media plays an important role in bringing attention to various social,  political and criminal issues by its information. Firstly , social media enables people to be citizen journalists who can share the information that people should know or advocate good campaigns for raising public awareness towards the issue. When the majority is aware of the problem , there will be public pressure on the lawmaker to change or enact the law. For instance, the Black Lives Matter movement, which started as a hashtag on social media, led to widespread protests and calls for changes in policing and criminal justice laws. In summary , social media can lead to changes of law to respond to public demand by enabling citizen journalism to raise public awareness and advocacy campaigns  in order to mobilize public pressure on lawmakers, and enabling citizen journalism and advocacy campaigns. These factors can all contribute to changes in laws and policies.

2. Social  media and its role in investigation of criminal cases : In the criminal case , Many of social media platforms openly cooperate with the law enforcement to expose the personal “ protected “ content without the need from court order. In order to search for evidence about the suspect’s criminal activity or the connection to a criminal organisation. There are several ways to use the evidence from social media 

-Getting Evidence : They can search for and analyze comments, posts, and messages that may provide valuable evidence in a case. For example, a suspect may post incriminating information or photos online, or witnesses may share information that can help identify suspects or provide details about the crime.

– Identifying Witnesses and suspects : They can use the information they gather from social media to build a profile of the suspect or identify people who may have witnessed the crime.

– Creating a timeline : The information from social media can be used to build a timeline of events leading up to the crime. They can use posts and messages to track the movements of suspects and witnesses, and to establish a motive for the crime.

– Monitoring criminal activity: Law enforcement agencies can use social media to monitor criminal activity in real-time. They can track the activities of criminal organizations and use the information they gather to prevent future crimes.

It can be concluded that the advent of social media has changes and increases the incluences and the way people commit crime. On the other hand , social media can use to be an evidence for in the court and also be a voice for people for claiming for the new improvement as a result in a better criminal law.

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