The internet is a powerful tool in pretty much every way imaginable. Whether it's being used to search for important information, to shop online for your necessities without needing to leave your house, to keep in contact with people who live half the world away, or even just keeping track of your favorite hobbies, it basically makes everything just a little bit easier.
Of course, it's also been an invaluable tool for bringing all sorts of ne'er-do-wells to justice, as pretty much any kind of illicit deeds posted online are easily given to the authorities. Whether it's dumb criminals revealing themselves on security footage, or much more hidden and insidious issues that someone happened to capture on a cell phone, you can bet that if it's been recorded, it's somewhere online for people to find.
However, before you go about becoming an internet vigilante yourself, it's important to note that sharing something online can often carry unforeseen consequences, either to the person it relates to or yourself. You don't want to suddenly find yourself accused of committing a crime yourself in the process of trying to bring a criminal to justice.
Case and point: a new video depicting child abuse has been making the rounds on social media, and while people are trying to play detective and figure out the culprit, police are warning that they might actually be committing a crime themselves by sharing the video...
In a report by Boston 25 News, "a video is being circulated on Facebook messenger that shows a man abusing a child and police are asking people to stop sharing it. " Not only that, but police are advising that if it's shared with you, you need to contact them about it immediately.
Now, you might be wondering why they don't want you sharing the video. Turns out it's because sharing the video online is considered disseminating child pornography, which is not just a crime: it's a federal offense.
As the report elaborates, "Police say they would never share an explicit video when looking for a suspect in this type of case. They say an official photo would be edited to show only the perpetrator and would never show the abuse taking place."
Has anyone tried to share the video with you? Have you had to report it to the police?
Source: Boston 25 News