New research from a British university found six types of Facebook killers who use Facebook to lure their prey or to commit crimes.
Almost all of us are using Facebook for interacting with family and friends or building professional connections. However, there are a few people who use Facebook for crime. They are named as Facebook killers. Recently, a British university named Birmingham City University has published the first-ever study evaluating the link between social networking site and criminal behavior.
A team of criminologists headed by Dr Elizabeth Yardley and Professor David Wilson studied 48 cases of Facebook murder (from 2008 to 2013) in which killers used social media to lure their prey or commit crimes. According to the report, there are six types of Facebook killers: reactor, informer, antagonist, fantasist, predator and imposter. Among these six types of killers, reactor, informer and antagonist are the most common.
1. Reactors (27.1% of Facebook murders)
Reactors react to comments or photos posted on Facebook by attacking victim offline.
For example: Wayne Forrester murdered his wife after reading her posts on Facebook, stating that they had split up.
2. Informers (22.9% of Facebook murders)
Informers use the social media to inform their friends about their intentions to kill someone or about crime committed.
For example: Derek Medina shot dead his wife and posted a photo of her dead body to Facebook.
3. Antagonists (16.7% of Facebook murders)
Antagonists involve in hostile exchanges on Facebook that eventually turn into physical violence.
For example: Two teenage boys were shot dead after engaging into an argument with a Facebook killer on Facebook over a stolen powercord.
4. Fantasists (12.5% of Facebook murders)
Fantasists use Facebook to indulge in fantasies and for them the line between fantasy and reality becomes blurred. Murder may be a way to continue the fantasy or prevent others from exposing them.
For example: Mark Twitchell murdered Johnny Altinger (who he met after posing as a woman on dating website) in a rented garage inspired by Dexter. He then created an account on Facebook as Dexter and posted his killing preparations online.
5. Predators (12.5% of Facebook murders)
Predators create a fake profile and develop a relationship with the victim to meet them offline.
For example: Christopher Dannevig created a fake profile and lured Nona Belomesoff to meet him at Smiths Creek Reserve for a training camp, where she was killed.
6. Imposters (8.3% of Facebook murders)
Imposters post in someone else’s name on Facebook for accessing victim's profile. After the murder, they pose as the victim online with the intention of making it appear he/she is still alive.
For example: Andrew Lindo murdered his wife and posted updates to her Facebook page stating that she left him and gone to the Canary Islands.
As per Dr Yadley, Facebook and other social networking sites should not be blamed for these homicides. Blaming them is just like blaming a knife for a stabbing.
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