Social Media Crimes are on the Rise

April 29, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. two-fold /ˈtuˌfoʊld/ (adv.) – in double, twice as many
Example: People’s average hours spent on the Internet increased two-fold, from three hours to six hours per day.

2. alarming /əˈlɑrɪŋ/ (adj.) – causing fear, often involves danger
Example: The increasing number of robbery in the city is so alarming.

3. address /əˈdrɛs/ (v.) – to deal with a particular issue or problem
Example: The government wants to immediately address the problem on increasing crime rate.

4. barrage /bəˈrɑʒ/ (v.) – to attack (as with criticisms, questions, or punches) excessively or overwhelmingly
Example: She was barraged with a lot of negative criticisms because of her controversial post on Facebook.

5. offender /əˈfɛndər/ (n.) – a person who committed a crime
Example: Drug offenders are sentenced to 5-10 years in prison.


Read the text below.
A recent research found that crimes related to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have significantly increased since 2011.

According to the research by the Parliament [PAHR-luh-muh nt] Street, crimes increased two-fold on Twitter alone, from 677 in 2011 to 1,291 in 2013. On Facebook, reported crimes increased from 9,917 to 13,019. The Parliament Street got the data from Freedom of Information reports, which were from 25 police forces in England and Wales.

One crime incident on Twitter was that of a British activist Caroline Criado-Perez [kri-YUH-do pe-rez]. After her high-profile campaign for women in England, she was barraged with a lot of insults, criticisms, and even death threats. Fortunately, she was able to have her offenders jailed.

More social media crimes related to football games have also been reported. Fans were warned not to express their anger on social networking sites should their favorite team lose the game.

With this alarming situation, researchers said the government should find ways to address cybercrimes effectively. They said the police should equip themselves with the latest cyber skills to be able to punish the offenders on social networking sites.

However, the police should not concentrate on cybercrimes alone, said Nick Pickles, director of an advocacy group in the UK. Pickles added that the police should not ignore crimes committed on streets just because they are busy monitoring posts on Twitter or Facebook. 

In addition, Pickles stressed that social media play an important role in people’s communication. Thus, monitoring posts on social networking sites may threaten people’s freedom of speech.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with the police monitoring posts on social media? Why or why not?
·         How else can cybercrimes be prevented? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Why do you think some people express their feelings more on social media than in person?
·         In your opinion, is it appropriate to share too much information on the Internet? Why or why not?


April 29, 2014