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As social media continues to be the centerpiece and pulse of the digital age, the medium serves as a window into the daily happenings of anonymous characters content to reveal every nuance of their personal lives. This foolhardy notion has been playing itself out as of late, especially in the gang-riddled streets of Chicago and the antics of Chief Keef and others.

Boldly taking to Facebook and Twitter, violent gangs are essentially taking their turf wars to online spaces. The New York Police Department took notice of this, and has leapt into action and is boosting its current social media task force to head off the spike of online “set trippin,’” reports New York’s NBC 4

The NYPD will increase its numbers to 300 detectives as part of “Operation Crew Cut,” solely focused on warring factions of gangs who use social media to hurl threats and insults towards one another. Commissioner Raymond Kelly addressed the newly bolstered movement in a prepared statement ahead of his visit to San Diego Tuesday for a meeting for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, saying that “looser associations of younger men who identify themselves by the block they live on, or on which side of a housing development they reside” will be their main focus.

NYPD will drill down on the bit players in the gang war who lack the discipline of more organized crime movements.

“By capitalizing on the irresistible urge of these suspects to brag about their murderous exploits on Facebook, detectives used social media to draw a virtual map of their criminal activity over the last three years,” added Kelly.

The department will adhere to strict rules and guidelines, this to make certain that no privacy laws are violated. Officers will be allowed to adopt aliases online with permission from higher ups, and there will be a more investigative angle applied by the detectives. Special laptops will also be provided to protect the identity and location of the officers of the social media unit.


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Photo: Reuters