rat gram continued

During out last class, we started off with an online article about the outing of “rats” on Instagram. When first reading the article, I thought nothing of it. Within the first few lines, it became clear to me that an individual (now revealed as a teenager from Philadelphia) was revealing witnesses of crimes. Although it may not seem to be too big of a deal to some people, this type of online activity is illegal. The account had about 7,900 followers and had identified more than 30 witnesses near the Philly area.
To think about this more personally, how would you feel if one of your family members was posted on this user’s Instagram? If your family member was a witness to a crime and their testimony resulted in the offender going to jail, that family member of yours would be at risk. With the existence of the account, the offender would have the capability of seeing the witness’s picture when they are released and could then track down that individual. Even though this may seem a bit extreme, it is still a possibility.
Along with that, all thirty or so witnesses who were posted on the site were all at high risk. After witnessing and reporting a crime, there is no reason why a person’s identity should be revealed (no matter how big or small the crime is). If this site was to stay intact and the 17 year old boy was never revealed, wouldn’t you feel threatened and cautious? I’m sure if you resided in Philly and happened to witness a crime, you would be less prone to reporting it due to the fact that you would not want to be revealed on social media as a “rat”. In that sense, wouldn’t crime rates gain the possibility to increase? Overall, I just feel like the creation of this Instagram account was inhumane and extremely dangerous.
Leading off of that, our class also discussed the prominence of social media and its effects on these types of situations. For instance, if Instagram did not exist, this account would have never been created. In that sense, is it really social Medias fault for things like this happening? Personally, I feel like even if these sites did not exist, people would still find other ways to get around it and post whatever they want (whether it is on newspapers, flyers, etc.) More specifically, it is the people who are responsible. Social media and the Internet just allow them to do it more easily and more freely. The internet is not the cause of illegal activity. If there were ever any ideas on censoring social media sites, it should be the people who are censored. Even though social media could easily be manipulated in a negative way, there are many positive things that should also be accounted for. The advancement of technology and the Internet, in my opinion, has truly been an overwhelming occurrence that many people do not know how to handle. If everyone were to understand that with the Internet comes strong repercussions, I am sure that a lot of negative usage would cease to exist.

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About joellerae

My name is Joelle Altomare! I am currently attending Rutgers University, class of 2016, and I am a cell biology and neuroscience major. I have a twin sister and my favorite thing to do in my free time is surf. The purpose of this blog is to motivate people and show them that nothing is impossible. With determination comes greatness and if you work hard towards your goals, you will achieve them.

One thought on “rat gram continued

  1. jscillitani

    I could not agree with you more. I really liked that you got the reader thinking about personal connections and how they would feel if someone in their family was on a site like this. I think everyone’s opinions about things like this change when they think about it on a personal level. And it is not unrealistic to think about something like this on a personal level, because it reality, it can happen to anyone. I know I would be disturbed, upset, and extremely angry if a family member of mine was on an Instagram such as this one.


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