The problem with social media these days is that, across the globe, anyone
and everyone who has access to the world wide web can post information
to their social media profiles. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are some
of the most prevalent forms of social media, with millions of users logging
into their profiles to interact with their friends and post their own musings.
While this may not, at first, seem like a problem in criminal investigations,
it is important to realize that not all social media posts are private.
There are website archive sites and software that investigators can use
to access old or even information that users believe is protected by privacy
settings. Even if a post was deleted, this information can still be mined
using these programs.
Social Media & Boston Bomber Case
Here is one example. Today, we just learned that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, an
accomplice to his brother in the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings,
was found guilty on all 30 charges made against him. He was sentenced
to the death penalty. In that state, death penalty is not legal, but because
he had been charged with federal crimes, convictions allow the death penalty.
In the aftermath of the bombing, several credible news outlets began publishing
a multitude of stories—many of which were either speculation or
outright false. Subsequently, these stories were shared or “liked”
on Facebook. This unnecessarily brings panic to the wider community and,
throws investigators far off the trail, who often use these sources to
track down suspects.
How Social Media Can Affect a Case
Remember that investigators do everything they can to discover information
about a suspect—this includes burrowing into one’s social
They do this to uncover any of the following:
- Find any type of evidence to help with the case
- Any incriminating posts or photos indicting the suspect
- Retrace the last steps of the suspect
- Search for witnesses or a possible alibi
- Network with anyone who can help them move their case forward
Our Minneapolis criminal defense attorneys highly recommend that if you
are involved in a criminal case, whether or not you are being accused,
that you lay low from using social media networks. You may be surprised
at how quickly misconstrued a seemingly innocuous statement can be taken.
Remember that prosecutors will stop at nothing to get their conviction—even
resorting to twisting words to fit their needs. Your best bet for defense
is to obtain legal defense to help you and keep you protected during the
Do not hesitate to bring forth any concerns to us. Caplan & Tamburino
Law Firm, P.A. is on hand to schedule
free case consultations at any time—24 hours a day, 7 days a week.