Is the FBI giving Social Networks a bad name? After all, the whole construct behind a social network is for followers, fans and alike to interact with each other... and kind of like... behave in a social manner. In what the FBI is calling a "pilot test," the agency is distributing billboards across the virtual worlds of Second Life with the Top Ten Most Wanted list of fugitives. Is this a cheeky way of tempting criminals to crawl out of their covert holes to sign up for Twitter and Facebook accounts?
Realizing the vast amounts of time upright citizens devote to social media sites, virtual worlds and their iPhone apps, the FBI has decided to jump on board the Web 2.0 express to aid in their never-ending search for truth, justice and the American Way!
FBI Billboards on Second Life
“Unlike 10 years ago, almost everyone today has had an experience connecting online through virtualiPhone App for Most Wanted Fugitives media, whether through a gaming console or popular sites like Second Life," Jonathan Cox, a management analyst in the Office of Public Affairs who spearheaded this program, said in statement. "The ease at which information can be transferred, ideas can be exposed, and technology can be shared in virtual worlds will hopefully lead to the location or arrest of a fugitive."
But just how much jurisdiction does an American police force have in the virtual world which exists outside the boundaries of the real world? We are inundated with violent crimes reported on TV and the major media outlets continuously throughout the day. Do we really need the FBI tampering with our fantasy life as well?
So before Fox Mulder and Scully get all up in your online faces, you might just want to toe the digital line with your next Facebook update, lest one of your off-the-cuff remarks be misinterpreted as a threat to society.
Oh, and just in case you want to keep a close eye on the FBI activities on Twitter, I don't think you will get too far, as the agency has decided to keep all their updates protected. However, since they only have 16 followers, it doesn't appear they are trying to earn too much cred on the "social" meter. But more of a concern to me is the"one" person they are following. Who could Big Brother have possibly selected for that dubious honor?
FBI on Twitter