'A report by the HM Inspectorate of Probation in the U.K. reveals that social media use has now become a contributing factor to serious violent and sexual attacks committed by children and adolescents. According to the report, young users are known to plot crimes online that would have been otherwise inconceivable in the past. Youngsters are now planning and committing offenses through their smartphones and computers in their bedrooms, the watchdog cautions.
The report cited a case where social media sites — such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube — have been directly associated with juvenile crimes. The experts noted that troubled young users usually start arguing with each other online before escalating the fight into physical altercations in the streets or on public transportation. The watchdog group also warned that young people are being subjected to blackmailing, where perpetrators pressure victims to upload indecent images online and use them to harass the other person.
Likewise, the report cited another instance where gangs are using social media platforms to incite violence. The experts noted a case where a gang member appeared in a viral film taken outside his home, only to be tracked by a rival gang’s member who harassed and threatened the victim. The experts also cited an online gang video that promoted guns and violence which they linked to the murder of a 14-year-old boy.'
Read more: Social media is creating young criminals: Violent crimes by children are often sparked by interactions on social media, watchdog group warns
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