Good or bad, social media is keeping us on our toes

By: Cole Buergi, VP of Business Development, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Several recent news stories have highlighted how social media is fast becoming the new way to help solve crimes, or at the very least, embarrass those behaving badly.
For instance, a man walking a portion of the Oregon Trail came across a father and his kids scratching their names into the railing of a walkway overlooking a scenic area. The man approached them to say that they shouldn’t be doing that but the father ignored them.  The man took a photo of the three and posted it to Facebook in an effort to shame the dad and hopefully help identify who he is. The story went viral with more than 52,000 views. 
Another story recently in the news is about a California police officer who recorded herself participating in the ALS ice bucket challenge by dumping a five gallon pail of ice water on her co-worker. She posted the video on her social media. She’s now facing up to six years in prison for insurance fraud. Seems she was on disability for a back injury. Investigators are wondering how she was easily able to pick up the heavy bucket and dump it on her co-worker with the appearance of no pain.
And finally, fans of taking selfies will want to take note. A pair of tourist in the Italian city of Cremona recently broke the crown off the Statue of Two Hercules, causing it to fall to the ground and smash into pieces. This reportedly happened while they were climbing onto the statue to take a selfie. Reports are the Italian authorities have identified the culprits. Sadly, this isn’t the first time the statue was damaged by visitors taking selfies a bit too close.
There are many stories like these more but to write about them all would extend my blog to 20 pages or more.
The next time you post something to social media or feel the need to take a selfie, think about what you’re doing. Better yet, think ahead of time on how you can be a better citizen.
Have you ever caught somebody on video doing something wrong and uploaded it to social media to shame them or help catch the culprit? If yes, did it work?