In the era of technology, social media in all of its forms has undoubtedly become an integral part of the lives of college students. Recent studies have concluded that college students and the younger generation heavily interact, post pictures and share their thoughts on social media sites at rates that far outweigh the usage of those in previous generations. College students have become so engrossed and surrounded by social media that educational communities recommend professors to incorporate it into classroom settings, and many have done so in a fashion that is incredibly effective.
However, with the rise of social media comes downsides. Social media sites have become breeding grounds for criminal offenses that are exclusively carried out over the internet. While sitting behind a screen may warrant less danger than inciting physical violence while commissioning a crime, the criminal justice system will still continue to enforce stiff penalties for those who use social media platforms to break the law.
Social Media Related Crimes
There are a number of crimes that can be committed on social media sites. College students may commit these offenses out of genuine naivety or due to the misconceived notion that they won't caught. But despite their reasoning, a conviction for the following offenses could potentially lead to hefty fines, community service and even time spent in prison:
What many college students may perceive as a minuscule spat on twitter, could ultimately result in criminal charges. The most commonly reported social media crime is cyber bullying, which typically consists of one or more parties making threats, harassing, or stalking users to inflict emotional distress on fellow users. Although these offenses are rarely reported, the cases that are lead to an outcome that is often less than favorable for a defendant.
Hacking and Fraud
It's common for college students and younger demographics to log onto their friend's social media account and post something embarrassing about their friends. Most times, this action is forgivable and isn't taken seriously by any of the parties involved. But in the event that a person feels humiliated due to these actions, it could technically be considered a serious crime.
Additionally, partaking in fraudulent activities, such as creating a fake account to impersonate another person or to trick people into giving you information, objects or money could land a student a conviction.
Many people have used social media to further their illegitimate business ventures by connecting with consumers. Any proof that a student has used a social media site to purchase or sell drugs or any other illegal materials or substances could face legal ramifications for their actions.
How Can Social Media Affect My Standing as a Student of the College?
If any of the above crimes have been committed by a student, local law enforcement has been known to collaborate with higher education institutions in an effort to identify him or her and bring criminal charges. Many states have civil and criminal remedies to most social media related crimes, and some colleges and universities have decided to enforce guidelines for those who commit offenses of this nature. Whether or not a student will face disciplinary action depends on the contents within their school's code of conduct.