THEY say social media can be seen as a two-edged sword for law enforcement – a tool for gathering evidence and identifying suspects but a force behind youth violence in the city as well.
Sometime back, a national court judge said capturing images on mobile phones and making them available to the people confidential line is an effective method ordinary citizens could use in the fight against crime.
Basically, he is saying that citizens can fight crime with the use of technology.
Thanks to social media, a man was sentenced to jail for rape after a video footage of him committing the crime was posted on social media.
We have reported on school principals in Port Moresby raising concerns that social media is one of the main factor that contributes to school fights in the city.
The fight between students have started because of a Facebook post.
In the past, the groups of students involved were usually smaller and only girls or boys were in the group, and mobile phones were absent.
Of late, the crowd has been of much larger, both boys and girls and students had mobile phones.
Social media is a significant factor in some of the issues on the streets and in the schools.
Until the early years of the 21st Century, crimes tended to be committed away from the eyes of the majority of society, with traditional media broadcasting information about them often on their own terms.
Specifically with school fights, it’s the number one issue.
Things fester and build up on social media before it ever comes to the streets.
Confrontations on Facebook or Twitter can start between two people but eventually gain steam with dozens of teens responding.
The name-calling and provoking can quickly escalate to assaults or fights in school or on the streets.
Youths will record fights or assaults and upload them to YouTube or post them on other social media platforms.
They will post things such as fights or gang signs to show who won the fight.
When they record it, they like sharing that information.
Parents often do not know what their children are posting online and are surprised.
Another bonus for social media is that it can help identify problem youth.
School personnel, law enforcement and parents will have meetings with these teens and offer them resources to redirect their lives in a more positive direction.
Our children should also learn to walk away from provocation and report such issues to school authorities to deal with it rather than trying to solve it among themselves.
There are procedures to deal with teenage issues and it could get out of hand if there is no common understanding between all parties.
While schools and communities recognise that school violence needs to be addressed, it is also critical that they respect the hopes and rights of the majority of students who are neither perpetrators nor victims of
school violence and who want nothing more than to receive a good education in a safe environment.
Parents should actively monitor what their children are posting online and with whom they are communicating.
Social media is becoming a part of the lives of everyday youths in the country.
Young people often do not understand that this type of online behaviour can encourage violence offline.