Social media postings could land you in jail

BLOOMFIELD, MO (KFVS) - When someone posts a video or comment on Facebook, they might think they're being funny or showing off to attract attention, but they could attract attention of police.

"It makes our life a whole lot easier whenever they post their evidence and just hand it over to us," said Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Russell Oliver.

Oliver said when people post videos or comments online showing them committing a crime, those postings could end up in court. One example, the latest video out of Caruthersville, showing teenage girls beating up a man.

"It's really simple for us to go on and find the stuff that we need to find to prosecute these people," said Oliver.

Oliver said they can even use the computer's IP address to find out who made the post.

"I don't know why they think they can post the things and no one's going to know it's them," said Oliver.

"That may be a status symbol for them," said Sylvia Webster, a crisis therapist for Bootheel Counseling Services.

Webster said she has a couple ideas as to why people would post incriminating evidence online.

"It could be for shock value," said Webster.

Webster said storytelling with friends, isn't what it used to be.

"Society has dictated social media is the way to communicate," said Webster.

Webster said the big things people look for from that communication medium is attention and acceptance.

"You can go online and get 150 thousand hits validating what you've done," said Webster.

But do those thousands of "likes" offset the consequences?

"I think there are many instances they don't think about consequences," said Webster.

Oliver said he doesn't think videos and postings showcase our true society.

"We're just seeing more of it, because there's free information going back and forth from folks, and it's easier to learn about what's going on, I think we still have a good society in general, and we aren't as violent as Facebook and all these stories make us out to look like," said Oliver.

You can also see the related story of the teens arrested in Caruthersville for beating a man and then posting the video online here.

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