Is there such a thing as 'Facebook Murder'?

November 13, 2014, Wiley

Investigators recently set out to consider whether homicides involving social networking sites were unique and worthy of labels such as 'Facebook Murder', and to explore the ways in which perpetrators had used such sites in the homicides they had committed.

The cases they identified were not collectively unique or unusual when compared with general trends and characteristics—certainly not to a degree that would necessitate the introduction of a new category of or a broad label like 'Facebook Murder'.

"Victims knew their killers in most cases, and the crimes echoed what we already know about this type of crime," said Dr. Elizabeth Yardley, co-author of the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice article.

"Social networking sites like Facebook have become part and parcel of our everyday lives and it's important to stress that there is nothing inherently bad about them. Facebook is no more to blame for these homicides than a knife is to blame for a stabbing—it's the intentions of the people using these tools that we need to focus upon."

Explore further: Six faces of killers on Facebook revealed

More information: Yardley, E. and Wilson, D. (2014), Making Sense of 'Facebook Murder'? Social Networking Sites and Contemporary Homicide. The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice. DOI: 10.1111/hojo.12109

Related Stories

Six faces of killers on Facebook revealed

November 4, 2014

A team of leading criminologists from Birmingham City University have this week published the first-ever study on how convicted killers have used the social networking site Facebook in relation to their crimes.

Recommended for you

Study: Social media sways exercise motivation

January 17, 2019

It's January – a time when students are looking for that extra bit of oomph. For some, time spent on social media might provide the necessary inspiration to get up and exercising – but that time can come with consequences, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.