A teen who was out drinking and driving on New Year's Eve found himself in trouble after he posted about his evening on Facebook. He was subsequently arrested by local police after Facebook friends turned him in.
An 18-year-old Oregon man was arrested in connection with a hit-and-run accident after he posted about an incident on Facebook. According to Digital Trends, the man posted on his Facebook status, “Drivin drunk … classsic ;) but to whoever’s vehicle i hit i am sorry. :P”.
Reportedly, two of the man's 650+ friends turned him in to the authorities.
Police came out to the man's house to investigate the claims and found a car that had been in an accident. The vehicle's damage was consistent with evidence found at the scene of the crime.
According to KOMO News (via Associated Press), the man, at first, denied being involved in the accident.
"He denied it initially, and it wasn't until he was confronted with overwhelming evidence that he finally admitted to it," Deputy Chief Brad Johnston said. The officer also noted that an individual cannot be convicted of a driving while intoxicated charge based on a Facebook post.
He was subsequently charged with two counts of failing to perform the duties of a driver.
“Astoria Police have an active social media presence,” a press release from Astoria Police said, according to the Daily Astorian. “It was a private Facebook message to one of our officers that got this case moving, though. When you post ... on Facebook, you have to figure that it is not going to stay private long.”
Jacob Cox-Brown, of Astoria, was arrested on New Year's Day in connection with the hit-and-run accident. Police could not charge the suspect with Driving While Intoxicated because he was sober by the time he was interviewed.
Increasingly, Facebook has become a source for authorities, as police have repeatedly arrested individuals after seeing posts made on the social network. Often investigations are quickly solved because people are implicating themselves online, or in some cases, an investigation is launched after a Facebook post has been made.
As society gravitates more towards open sharing of information, it appears perhaps some individuals may forget that the Internet is anything but private, despite any settings and controls used that give the illusion of privacy.