Actions on social media can lead to criminal charges

People sometimes feel like the Internet provides a layer of protection. They’ll say and do things on social media that they may never do in real life. However, it’s very important to remember that what is said and done online is still very real, and it can lead to genuine criminal charges. The false sense of security provided by the Internet will not protect you in court.

For example, one study found that social media sites are being involved more and more often in sexual assault cases. That study showed a rise in these cases of a staggering 300 percent.

Another study looked at sex crime relationships and how they got started in the first place. These relationships, for example, could be between adults and minors. In 29 percent of the cases, the two first had contact or started their relationship on a social networking site.

Specifically when looking at crimes that targeted minors, studies found that 26 percent of the cases where pictures and information were given out involved social media sites. For examples, explicit pictures of a minor could be posted on social media or passed around on networking sites by a group of people who may or may not know the victim.

Have you been involved in any of these activities, perhaps without knowing how serious they could be or how your actions online could put you on the wrong side of the law? If so, it’s very important for you to know what rights and legal options you have, and you certainly have the right to a fair trial in Missouri.

Source: Guard Child, “Social Media Statistics,” accessed Oct. 20, 2016


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