Posted on June 24, 2011 by Jennifer Pointer


The social networking news of the week (other than that the Winklevi temporarily gave up on trying to extort more money from Facebook...then changed their minds), is that a man kept his friends and family updated via Facebook throughout a police standoff, which supposedly involved a hostage (who maybe wasn't really a hostage).


Here's a hint:  If one of your friends is in the middle of doing something illegal, do NOT help him out by posting on his Facebook wall.  The police are not amused at friends warning the man about their location in the bushes, for example.


The 16-hour  stand-off began with the police trying to serve an outstanding felony drug warrant, and ended with the man shooting himself in the chest, but he is expected to survive.  During that time, he updated his Facebook status several times, and added several new friends.


Because the man's Facebook page is public, there have been a series of wall posts on it since the stand-off, some by well-wishers (he apparently has a lot of people praying for his recovery) and some by people who just want to express how they feel about him updating his Facebook page while he was holding a hostage.


The woman who may or may not have actually been a "hostage" was unharmed.  Law enforcement has a whole new realm to deal with in terms of "obstruction of justice."


It's only a matter of time before it is commonplace to negotiate such hostage situations via the social networks.  I'm just impressed that the media, for once, did not misunderstand the cause-effect relationship of this situation and blame Facebook for the entire incident.



Jennifer Pointer


Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. 


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