Officer, I have an alibi. I was on Facebook!

November 12, 2009: ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK -- A 19-year-old New York City man arrested on robbery charges has been exonerated thanks to his Facebook page.

Rodney Bradford was held for 12 days on suspicion of robbing two people on Oct. 17 in the Brooklyn public housing complex where he lives.

Bradford and witnesses insisted he was innocent. They said he was at his father's Harlem apartment when the crime occurred.

A playful message was posted on Bradford's Facebook page one minute before the robbery. In it, he asked his girlfriend where his pancakes were.

Prosecutors dropped the charges after Facebook verified the words had been typed from a computer at his father's building.


Facebook has been in the news a lot. And it has been getting more and more technical, with legal issues arising as well. A judge in Bermuda was faced with the possibility of declaring a mistrial in Bermuda after a prosecutor expressed her annoyance on proceedings via Facebook. Wow. What an idiot. And now this dude. Now they verified that the words were typed from a computer in the father's building but did they do that fancy CSI stuff to see if he was actually the author of said words? Did they check the keyboard keys for his sweat or test the computer chair for bodily fluids, match it to DNA taken from a cotton swab? Or is Facebook so potent that it just stands on its own as a credible alibi. I am not questioning the system or the young man's innocence. Maybe the kid really just wanted some pancakes and was nowhere near the scene of the robbery for which he was accused. But it begs the question, will criminals soon be using the social tools to circumvent the law?

What is to stop me from giving my accomplice my password for my Twitter site, have him/her tweet while I go out on a heist? You may laugh, but I am sure you all read the news and hear about some out of this world stuff (hot air balloon boy; woman marrying name it, it's out there), so why can't this happen?

Facebook is known as a lot of things - maccobook, farsebook, the great evil, idlers' paradise. Add its new moniker - alibi.


Anonymous said...

This is really interesting WOW, but these ppl don't realize that someone could have his password and typed the status there? Dumb. (Kurn)

Anonymous said...

I read this article in the news yesterday and i was wondering the same thing...not that I'm doubting the boy's innocence but how do they know that it was him who made the
~ from Shelly-Ann

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