Could something as seemingly innocent as typing up a Facebook post or adding a new photo to Instagram result in criminal charges being filed against you? Most people freely use social media without putting a considerable amount of thought into the type of content they’re posting or the means in which they’re interacting with others. If you’re one of those people, perhaps it is time to take a step back and realize that you could very well land in jail using social media if you aren’t careful. Five ways this can happen are:
- Admissions of Guilt: If you’ve committed a crime and decide to brag about it on social media, do not be surprised if police come knocking on your front door. Law enforcement does use social media to find people who have warrants and those out committing crimes and talking about it soon thereafter.
- Jury Duty: If you’ve been selected to serve on jury duty, do not discuss the case on social media, even if names are excluded, until the trial is over and you’re off the jury. Not only can you get in a lot of hot water for such conduct, but it could intervene with the pending criminal case.
- Sensitive Information: Whilst not illegal to post a person’s social security number, address, or even license plate number, you could be liable for damages if that post results in harm or damage to the individual whose information was posted. Think twice before posting this type of information on any social media site.
- Harassment: It is illegal to harass other people online. If you’ve been asked to leave someone alone but continue to contact them, trouble could start. If you engage in harassment or stalking-type behaviors and the individual decides to take action, it could cause you to be charged with a crime. Leave the social media drama behind.
- Using Other People’s Pictures: Did you know that it is a crime to use someone else’s photo as your own on social media? This can be considered identity theft and may land you in jail for a period of up to 365 days. Do not put another person’s photo as your own on any social networking platform. It is also illegal to use other copyrighted photos as your own online.
There are many other ways that you can find yourself in trouble with the things that you post on social media. The five ways that are listed above are some of the most common, however. When in doubt about content that you want to post, it is best to avoid it altogether just to steer clear of any ramifications of that decision.
It is not illegal to buy followers Instagram or for Facebook, Twitter, or even YouTube, like many people assume. It is also perfectly fine to share your opinions and comment on topics and matters without worry, as long as those comments are not defamatory. Social media is fun and should always be that way.