Tweets can be used to predict crimes, research says

Himanshu Arora

Posts: 902   +7
Your tweets say a lot about you, and you might be surprised by some of the things they reveal. Researchers at the University of Virginia claim that tweets can even help predict certain types of crime, according to an AFP...

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MilwaukeeMike

Posts: 3,214   +1,467
As part of the experiment, researchers analyzed tweets from the city of Chicago, and were able to predict areas where certain crimes were likely to occur.

Funny... when Wired ran this story a few months back it was called 'Social Media being used to fuel gang wars' (http://www.wired.com/2013/09/gangs-of-social-media/) It's a good article... The cops are able to watch FB and Twitter to find when someone threatens someone else and they can protect the target. Much of this crime they can predict by watching social media also only exists because of social media. Back before FB you had to actually walk up to someone on the street disrespect them in front of others. Now you can do it in front of everyone while laying in bed first thing in the morning.

I had no idea gang members so freely taunt each other, complete with videos of themselves with illegal weapons, on youtube and FB. You'd think showing off your guns on youtube would get you arrested, but apparently it doesn't.
 
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davislane1

I had no idea gang members so freely taunt each other, complete with videos of themselves with illegal weapons, on youtube and FB. You'd think showing off your guns on youtube would get you arrested, but apparently it doesn't.

Modern gang members aren't known for their keen intellects or self-control. Left side of the curve and all....
 
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Guest

Sounds like "Minority Report" to me.
Next we will arrest you based upon you social media postings.
 

Jad Chaar

Posts: 6,481   +976
I can believe this, but what if an account was hacked? They always have to take that into account.
 
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davislane1

I can believe this, but what if an account was hacked? They always have to take that into account.

If anyone gets arrested based on a hacked social media account they can always use the innocence by virtue of demonstrable intelligence defense:

"I wouldn't be so stupid as to post [crime] on Twitter. If I were really a criminal, wouldn't it be more plausible for me to deliberately post false information on Twitter to lead you off the trail of the real crime? After all, you're holding me for [crime]. What if I actually committed [highly probable alternate crime of superior consequence] and used [crime] as a cover on social media? My presence here is proof that such a tactic can be successfully employed. At least, theoretically. Furthermore, what if this entire series of questions is just misdirection intended to cast reasonable doubt on the matter at hand? Is that not a possibility? What if I told you that this – this building and the people in it – is all a lie? An act? A performance? What if I asked for my lawyer? What if I asked... For a sandwich?

So, you see, I'm clearly innocent. One cannot simultaneously be a bullshit artist and a *****."

Next we will arrest you based upon you social media postings.

They can already do that if said postings are deemed a threat to public safety.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,661   +6,033
Obviously people don't tweet about crimes directly, but according to lead researcher Matthew Gerber of the university's Predictive Technology Lab, "If I tweet about getting drunk tonight, and a lot of people are talking about getting drunk, we know there are certain crimes associated with those things that produce crimes. It's indirect".
And how is that different from the week before and the week before that? If they are habitual, you will know before they do it. That doesn't mean you will catch them in a crime, without them specifically tweeting details. Sounds like police harassment, without cause to me, simply because they are considered high risk.