WITH the recent conviction and sentencing of Thabo Bester to 50 years on charges of rape and robbery, and the ongoing investigations into other possible crimes where he might have been the perpetrator, one would think that people would be more vigilant in using social networks.
FACELESS BUDDIES: Experts warn that cyberspace crime is soaring with cases of serial rapists and murder linked to social networks.
I also urge young women to refrain from posting their semi naked pictures on Facebook as some people are perverted and will do anything possible to get close to them
Cases of serial rapists, murderers and an increasing number of human traffickers are currently congesting our rolls and many are gathering dust in police stations as undetected.
Our determined and courageous law enforcement officers sometimes end up committing suicide due to the traumatic experiences of dealing with these gruesome cases.
But it is clear that our people are not vigilant at all and continue to be reckless by generously accepting friends whose identity is questionable and may have all the features of unsavoury characters.
I have, on numerous occasions, pleaded with my friends on Facebook to be more careful in accepting and responding to inbox communication in their profiles.
It starts with requests from faceless individuals asking to be friends, to providing basic information on their profiles which is often false – but one accepts without hesitation.
I have seen people putting up animals, celebrity pictures and cars as profile pictures and expect to be accepted as friends.
My advice to all users is to view that with suspicion and ignore or block the person without engaging or probing more on his background, because these unscrupulous characters have an unbelievable skill of persuasion and charm.
Victims in most cases are young women who have a growing and suicidal tendency of being naive and curious.
We are tired of witnessing police collecting the lifeless bodies of our sisters after they have been raped, killed and even buried in shallow graves.
Our prosecutors find it hard to sleep at night when they have to order an inquest on a murder case docket because the police could not detect who killed the deceased in such a gruesome manner.
Before Facebook, we had the once popular practice of blind dates, which has now been replaced by Facebook and other social networking platforms.
I am not in any way criticising Facebook, as I’m also a user, but urging users to be more vigilant because these crimes can be prevented. I also urge young women to refrain from posting their semi naked pictures on Facebook as some people are perverted and will do anything possible to get close to them.
Parents and guardians have the responsibility to monitor their children’s cellular phones as they have easy access to the internet and can easily download explicit material tempting them to experiment. There is no legal impediment in our constitution that makes this an infringement of your children’s rights.
The owners of these social networks should take some of the blame because they can find ways of blocking explicit content and embark on educational campaigns in our communities.
In view of experts recently warning that Facebook crime is soaring in its various malicious forms, the owners should design Facebook crime prevention measures to overcome the challenge faced by law enforcement.
They should educate people on the purpose of using social networking and the potential evils because surely their profits must come with social responsibility.
Crime is a responsibility of all citizens.
Police, prosecutors and the courts cannot deal with the problem alone, and we can guarantee you that we will show them no mercy when we get reliable and admissible evidence implicating them.