Gangs may soon join teens in the “totally over Facebook” collective. The NYPD announced yesterday that it has arrested 63 members from three East Harlem gangs, after they left a trail of evidence boasting about their exploits online.
Authorities said the members—all men, 16 to 25—are responsible for 30 non-fatal shootings in the neighborhood since 2009. When using Facebook to plan their hits, they often used slang words. For example, guns were identified as “biscuit” or “clickety,” while ammunition were often labeled as “sea shellz” and “gas.”
A gang member would post a status update saying they needed “electricity for the 2 and 5 train” if their .25-caliber pistol was low on ammo. They also bestowed East Harlem with the quaint nickname of “New Iraq.”
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly credited his troops’ social media surveillance with stopping the violence:
‘Social media remains a double-edged sword in our crime fighting strategies. It is used by crew members to brag about past crimes, taunt rivals, and incite violence,’ he said. ’On the other hand, we use social media to document past crimes and intercept new ones being talked about openly by crew members on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.’
Imagine how low crime stats could dip if the NYPD gets Facebook Home.