Social Media & Violence

by todaystrainingblog

October 16, 2013

Social Media & Violence


                Facebook, twitter, instgram, and innumerable private and public social media sites abound in our world. The question that has popped up in the past few years is if it is a place to exercise your 1st Amendment rights to free speech or not?

                They are certainly a place to have people go for an open forum, much like the chat rooms on AOL, Yahoo, or other providers that were so popular earlier in the century. And they have just as many detractors as proponents. But the question remains are they safe, sane, and a true forum?

                In most respects they are. They allow people from across the country to keep up with friends and family, that they may not be able to otherwise. I keep up with my cousin and good friends that way from across the world. And of course I have 2 Facebook pages for both the business and my forthcoming book (’s Training and is too Many). They allow me to instruct and inform people of the numerous WPV/SV incidents I come across.

                And there have been innumerable incidents, of all kinds, where Facebook and twitter have been the first reporting from the scene i.e. the wildfires in Yarnell AZ. Back in June. This as well as storms, earthquakes, hurricanes, building collapses, and even WPV/SV. And therein lays the rub with social media.

                Social media has become a place where people believe they can post anything and never have any consequences to it. That is not so, whether you think it’s private or not. If you post a threat or something similar, it will be read. And depending on how serious it is, it will get reported to the right people (hopefully).

                Here is a link to a story that I came across from Abilene, Texas recently and social media. It kind of tells a good story and the severe consequences that a teenager can face, and basically ruin their chances for a good career later in life.

                There have also been innumerable incidents where Facebook threats and harassment have led to felony charges against other people. Both students and adults. None of us is immune to being prosecuted for threats and harassment to either another student or a co-worker. They can even lead to us being fired or suspended/dismissed from school

                And in some cases a good investigator, can dig up stuff that you thought was private and cost you, literally millions of dollars. Don’t think that’s true? Let me enlighten you to a story I got from FOX in the spring of 2008.

                A high school student was a star standout football player. He was being offered a full ride scholarship to be a Cal Golden Bear. All that had to happen is pass a ‘moral’ background check from the University – no big deal.

                The University of California – Berkeley wanted to ensure that their scholarship students were of higher moral character than the normal population. No arrests for felonies, no drug use, gang affiliation, and etc. A reasonable and laudable goal.

                This 18-year-old stated that he didn’t use drugs and had no idea of how to get them. He tested clean in a drug test. The check was about done and he was flying with all the goody two shoes record as you can imagine, until…

                A shrewd investigator gathered some OSI (Open Source Intelligence) on the young man’s friends Facebook page. There was a picture up there that showed this prospect and a friend, tokin on a joint and wearing t-shirts with a marijuana leaf on it. This prospect was sunk and eventually signed with a Division II school, which could cost him millions of dollars if he makes it to the NFL.

                Next time we’ll talk about what your social media policies should be at work. And watch for a post soon on BYOD.


            Clients rely on the 30 years of skills, knowledge, & expertise of Sollars Security Shield to ensure the safety and security of their property and their most important asset’s – their people. He helps these companies to avoid the multi-million dollar lawsuits that can result from a single incident of WPV.

            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in numerous media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 20 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.

            Robert uses the 30 years of field experience to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his experience and the news headlines. Let him do this for you as well. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit the website at;’s Training is too Many