Friday, November 13, 2009

Facebook provides alibi for New York City teen

We've all heard stories about people who were caught in a lie or committing a crime as a result of something they posted online, an e-mail they sent, a cellphone call, a webcam photo or a toll tag log. But here's one in which a simple status update on Facebook exonerated a teenager on a robbery charge.

Rodney Bradford, a 19-year old living in New York City, was at his father's house in Harlem updating his Facebook status while, one minute later, a robbery was taking place in Brooklyn. Once Mr. Bradford realized the police were looking for him, he turned himself in, confident that he would be cleared.

He was eventually cleared, but it took two weeks. Not until the district attorney's office received records they subpoenaed from Facebook was Mr. Bradford released.

The lesson here is that the power of social media can cut both ways.

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