Archive for February 1st, 2010

Crime and Facebook

Colin Gunn, one of England’s most notorious gangsters, is able to run his criminal empire from the confines of Facebook.

The fact that a gangster is able to communicate and manage his criminal empire from a computer isn’t as surprising in light of the fact that gangsters have always had means of controlling their empires in some way–the evolution of technology only makes the process easier.

What is more surprising is the fact that the internet and social networking sites can have the power to be be abused for such purposes. I don’t own a Facebook account, and I tend to see a site such as Facebook as nothing more than a simple social networking site of little to no importance or relevance to me. However, the fact that it is used by criminals (and within prison walls, on top of that) demonstrates the increasing power and significance of social media; not only to the technically proficient, but to just about anyone on the planet.

The internet is a double-edged sword–on one hand, it has become a potentially vast, limitless source of information. On the other hand, it is also a medium for unscrupulous behaviour, just as cellphones and earlier forms of telecommunications once were.