Social media is a wonderful invention which has allowed humanity to share pictures of cats and the things we’re eating with the rest of the world at any time of the day.
However, despite the obvious visibility of social media, some nefarious characters have actually used social media to further their illicit activities – well, I say further, but what I really mean is royally fuck up.
Whether it be people posting photos of stolen cash, pics of the weapons used in crimes, or even full blown confessions, criminals don’t seem to have grasped that just because they’re not Facebook ‘offish’ friends, the police can still see what they’re up to.
The BBC have selected some of the best examples around and we’ve added a few of our own favourites for good measure.
Facebook Update Judge
Two bumbling brothers, Daniel and Samuel Sledden, managed to get themselves in hot water just hours after a judge had suspended their sentences for drug dealing, when they posted a moronic Facebook status.
Daniel Sledden wrote on his wall: “Beverly Lunt go suck my cock. Cannot believe my luck 2 year suspended sentence beats the 3 year jail yes pal!”
Unfortunately for Daniel, Judge Beverly Lunt saw his idiotic comment and ordered him to report back to Burnley Crown Court for a review of her sentence.
Rather unsurprisingly, Daniel tried to make a quick apology, posting a swift follow-up status: ‘I want to say how sorry I am for what I wrote about Judge Lunt and my sentence’, but Lunt was having none of it and jailed the pair for two years.
The YouTube pranksters Trollstation crossed the line from mild annoyances to full blown criminals a few months ago, when they staged a terrifying fake art heist resulting in a public stampede.
Five members of the prank group burst into the National Portrait Gallery playing a loud alarm noise and pretended to steal portraits from the museum.
What tipped this prank over the edge, however, was that they played their hilarious joke just a week after the Tunisian beach massacre.
As you’d expect, the old excuse ‘it was just a prank bro’ didn’t really go down well with the police or prosecutors who threw the book at the five digital dickheads, jailing them for a total of 72 weeks, after they pleaded guilty to two counts of using threatening behaviour and causing fear of unlawful violence.
Musical Selfie Gets Prisoners A Bad Rap
Two dim-witted prisoners managed to extend their stay at her majesty’s pleasure after they stupidly recorded a selfie rap video on a mobile phone they’d illegally smuggled into a jail, and the vid was found on the web.
The prisoners, Demehl Thomas and Moysha Shepherd, admitted to making the video, where they conveniently bragged about drug dealing and violent assaults on rival gang members.
The good news for the defendants is that they set a new record, they’re the first ever inmates to be charged with making an unauthorised sound recording in prison. What pioneers.
You’d think criminals would be shy about posting evidence of their crimes but a London drug dealer found himself undone after posting a series of incriminating selfies online.
Junior Francis, 33, naively boasted about his luxurious lifestyle online, before police caught him with £7,000 cash and £75,000 worth of crack heroin and cocaine when they raided his Lambeth home.
On his phone they found a number of photos detailing his crimes and ill gotten gains, including one of him posing with wads of cash pressed like a telephone to the side of his face.
Meanwhile, he made a post to Instagram where he quoted rappers Notorious BIG and Method Man, writing ‘everything I got I work hard for it’ under a pic of thousands of pounds in cash.
Hilariously, Francis tried to deny any involvement with the drugs trade, which was a bold move considering all the photo evidence, but eventually admitted to dealing and was jailed for just over six years.
Police said that Francis was ‘undone by his vanity, taking selfies and boasting on social media’.
As stupid as it is to post evidence of your crimes, it would be even more stupid to reveal your crime before you’ve even committed it, wouldn’t it?
Apparently, that didn’t occur to armed robber Andrew Hennells, who boldly posted a Facebook status detailing his plans to rob a supermarket in a post which included a picture of a knife, the words, ‘Doing. Tesco. Over’, and even a handy dandy selfie which no doubt was of great help to the police.
15 minutes after he’d robbed £410 from a Tesco in King’s Lynn, Norfolk police caught the knife wielding thief in a pub down the road and he was jailed for four years.
Rather unsurprisingly, Hennells’ Facebook confession made it pretty easy to get a conviction so he wasn’t exactly a criminal mastermind, more like a dunce.
Can You Spare Fifty Cents?
50 Cent was forced to declare bankruptcy back in July last year after he lost his fortune when he was ordered to pay a woman $7 million after being found guilty of releasing revenge porn.
Yet despite apparently being as skint as your average student, he still managed to post a photo on Instagram showing himself with piles of cash. The photos weren’t just of interest to his followers though, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court were also keen to know more about his finances.
Rather embarrassingly, Fiddy was subsequently forced to admit to a judge that the money in the photos wasn’t real, but the courts weren’t having any of it and began going through the rapper’s finances with a fine toothcomb.
Poor Fifty – he wanted to get rich or die trying, but he just ended up broke…
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.