With Facebook’s user base growing well past 400M users, it’s inevitable that a percentage of them might be sociopaths, taking advantage of the social network’s very features to accomplish their goals. Several disturbing incidents have taken place recently in the state of Massachusetts in particular, and Facebook has been an instrument by the teens in question.
When over 60 teens trashed a home in East Bridgewater, Mass — while the owners were in Paris — leaving blood, urine, and destroying ceiling fans, doors and more, they had used Facebook to promote their “rager” event. When a number of female students at Charlestown High School in Boston, Mass, were recently cyberbullied with sexual innuendos, the culprits used Facebook to harrass them. After South Hadley, Mass, student Phoebe Prince committed suicide, after months of taunting and bullying by students, someone posted “accomplished” on her Facebook page. Is Facebook to blame, or is it only a vehicle for existing anti-social behavior.
Some of us might wonder exactly what’s going on in the state of Massachusetts, given all these incidents happened there, but these are not geographically isolated incidents. Browse YouTube or other sites long enough and you’ll see all kinds of violent and criminal activity from teens, captured for potentially eternity. Bullying is not a new problem and it’s likely to continue, simply because of human nature. While teens might be using Facebook to organize themselves, to bully, or to gloat after the fact, this is no different than some others have done through text messaging or probably even email. Facebook just happens to be the most convenient way, so to speak, for exhibiting anti-social behavior. On the flipside, while criminals might be using the social network in less than positive ways, authorities have also been using Facebook for fighting crime.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think Facebook makes it easier for people to be bullies or organize the sort of home-destroying “ragers” perpetrated by the so-called Home-Wrecker Crew?
Image via Laughters.org