Social media has become a wonderful tool for keeping in touch with friends and family. But it also has its downsides, as some people have come to learn the hard way. From Italian mob bosses who are Facebook addicts to football cheerleaders who draw swastikas on friends at parties, social media has become an increasingly dangerous place for people who break the law or act inappropriately (sometimes directly violating their company’s social media policies) to post their actions. We thought we were addicted to the largest social networking site in the world, but after seeing some of these social media knuckleheads (check out #3!) our addiction seems pretty harmless. Whatever you do, avoid ending up like these 25 Social Media Fools Who Got Busted On Facebook.
Taking down a Facebooking mob boss
Italian mob boss and one of Italy’s 100 most-wanted criminals, Pasquale Manfredi was arrested by local police due to his Facebooking habits. Manfredi was an avid Facebooker, logging in rather often, which led police to trace his internet key and bust him at his own apartment.
Airline employees going down in smoke
Virgin Atlantic fired 13 employees for insulting passengers by calling them “chavs” in a Facebook group. The employees also joked about the plane engines’ safety and said the cabin was full of cockroaches. These social media idiots learned the hard way that work problems should be kept off social media!
A defrauder takes a beach vacation
Most people love beach vacations, including Maxi Sopo. Seattle resident Sopo made sure to let all his Facebook friends know what a good time he was having in Cancun – after defrauding banks out of $200,000. He was later arrested and extradited back to the States.
Not a fan of mushy peas and old pizza
San Diego Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie was fined $2,500 for complaining about the “most nasty food of any team” at their training camp, even implying it was the reason they weren’t winning a Super Bowl.
The Facebook addict-turned-robber
You may think you’re addicted to Facebook but you don’t come close to West Virginian Jonathan G. Parker. While robbing two diamond rings from a woman’s home, Parker logged into Facebook – probably to check his news feed and like a lolcat video. The trouble was he logged in on the woman’s computer; she found an unknown profile logged in when she arrived home which she reported to the police whom quickly tracked Parker down.
A drunken rant about blowing heads off
This social media nut wasn’t busted just by his boss but also by the police! Bronx resident Jason A. Steward posted an angry, drunken rant about his supervisor, threatening to blow the boss’s head off. Police arrested Steward and charged him with a felony for making a terrorist threat and two misdemeanors of aggravated harassment.
The cool mom
Parents have to juggle a rough line between being strict and playing it cool. Ohioan Teacher’s Aide Mary Ellen Hause was arrested for letting three cheerleaders drink at her house with her teenage son. A school official found pictures of the teens’ shindig on Facebook and Hause was sentenced to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, and three years of alcohol possession or consumption prohibition.
The ranting waitress
North Carolina pizza worker Ashley Johnson was fired from her waitress job for ranting about customers on Facebook, something many servers seem to be doing these days. Johnson harshly criticized the guests for staying three hours past her shift and only tipping $5.
Asking your friends how to vote
A juror in the United Kingdom was dismissed after asking her Facebook friends how to vote. “I don’t know which way, so I’m holding a poll”, she said while disclosing relevant information to the case.
Getting out of child support
The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office caught John McCroy posting pictures on Facebook with massive stacks of cash – after repeatedly failing to pay child support. Claiming he makes the money by selling mixtapes, McCroy also frequently posted selfies on Facebook in his custom car.
The Aussie social media legend (idiot)
Kyle Doyle, an Aussie call-center worker, became a viral internet legend in 2008. After a night of heavy drinking, Doyle called in sick and posted on his Facebook, “not going to work, f**k it i’m still trashed SICKIE WOO.” The HR Department told Doyle he would need a doctor’s note to be excused or not be paid for the day. After he protested, the HR worker emailed this busted social media user a screenshot of his Facebook post.
The devastated football fan
An employee at the Philadelphia Eagles stadium was fired for using offensive language in reference to safety Brian Dawkins’s signing to the Denver Broncos. He wrote, “Dan is f*****g devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver. . .Dam Eagles R Retarted!!” It shows employees need to be careful with their social media posts lest they get busted by their employers!
A Nationale Suisse insurance worker was fired from her job for surfing Facebook – in bed. Telling the company she couldn’t work from home because she needed to lie in the dark, the employee was fired for being on Facebook. She claims she was on her phone. The company fired her for “abuse of trust, rather than the activity of Facebook”.
The online locker room
Ontario, Canada, grocery chain Farm Boy fired seven workers for slandering customers in a Facebook group. The group, described by employees as a “locker room” to blow off stress, included one member who complained about a difficult customer, “As he was leaving, I think he heard me say he should ‘f-off’.”
Political dissidents be quiet!
Young Croatian Niksa Klecak was arrested by the Croatian police in 2008 for having a Facebook group. The group, named “I bet I can find 5,000 people who dislike Sanader”, featured an image of Prime Minister Ivo Sanader in a photoshopped Nazi uniform. Police allegedly arrested Klecak for violating a law against Nazi propaganda but later released him when he showed he wasn’t the one who posted the photo.
Couch burners caught on Facebook
Fan celebrations after the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2009 Super Bowl win led to the arrest of two social media users. Police identified two men in Indiana, Pennsylvania, from a Facebook photo and busted them for reckless endangerment and lighting a couch on fire.
Online police squads
The police are taking to Facebook to combat underage drinking. Police in La Crosse, Wisconsin, fined four students after sending a fake friend request from a “good-looking” 19 year old girl. The students who accepted the request found themselves to be the subjects of a police force searching online for pictures of underage drinking.
The online diagnosis
Even insurance companies are taking to Facebook. Canadian insurance provider Manulife dropped Nathalie Blanchard from coverage. Blanchard, who was on leave from work and being treated for severe depression, was said by the company to be no longer depressed and ready for work after they saw pictures of her online smiling and at the beach. Manulife even hired a private investigator and asked a doctor to re-evaluated Blanchard. The case was settled out of court.
The Sharpie-wielding cheerleader
Eighteen-year old New England Patriots cheerleader Caitlin Davis was fired for posting photos of herself and a friend at a party to Facebook. The trouble with the pictures was the friend was passed out and Caitlin was one of a group who scribbled phallic symbols and swastikas on him.
Forgetting your boss is friends with you on Facebook
Employers don’t take it very well when you rant to Facebook about how much you hate your job and especially don’t like it when you call them a “total pervy wanker”. The boss gave this British worker a serious response: “Hi Lindsay, I guess you forgot about adding me on here? Firstly, don’t flatter yourself. Secondly, you’ve worked here 5 months and didn’t work out that i’m gay? I know i don’t prance around the office like a queen, but it’s not exactly a secret. Thirdly, that ‘s**t stuff’ is called your ‘job’, you know, what i pay you to do. But the fact that you seem able to f**k up the simplest of tasks might contribute to how you feel about it. And lastly, you also seem to have forgotten that you have 2 weeks left on your 6 month trial period. Don’t bother coming in tomorrow. I’ll pop your P45 in the post, and you can come in whenever you like to pick up any stuff you’ve left here. And yes, i’m serious.”
A Superintendent's double life
Arizona Schools Superintendent John Huppenthal was living a double life on Facebook. Huppenthal defended his school policies on a local lawyer’s blog until the Superintendent, working under pen name Thucydides, was found out by the lawyer.
The downfall of a street gang
The NYPD’s monitoring of Facebook messages between members of the Lyman Place Bosses street gang led to the arrest of its members in April 2015. The accusations against the group, including attempted murder, robbery, and conspiracy to possess firearms, were lodged after police followed online discussions talking about potential murder victims and getting rid of weapons.
An overseas worker in Singapore was busted for stealing $6,300 worth of her boss’s jewelry. Posting pictures wearing two of the rings and gold bracelets, Evelyn Macaraya Clotario was found out after her boss’s friend found the pictures on Facebook. Now that’s a big time social media idiot!
The Facebook Six
Six Australian prison officers were almost fired for ranting about their boss and the wasteful practices in the New South Wales Corrective Services Department. The department sent the “Facebook Six” a letter suggesting it would fire them for “bullying” and “harassment”. After taking the department to court, the six won the case due to invalid investigative proceedings on the part of the department.
A happy story of Facebook's goodness
In an attempt to take back Facebook’s good name, it’s good to know it’s not all bad. Rodney Bradford was arrested in New York City on a mugging charge and sat in jail for two weeks. But Bradford never committed the crime. A status update he posted at his Harlem apartment one minute before the incident cleared him of the mugging charges in Brooklyn.