In obscure inlets of social media, young urban men and women provoke each other in virtual vendettas that can turn deadly IRL. “Cyberbanging,” the unfortunate moniker for this phenomenon, often starts with harmless, slangy boasts on social media. Here’s one Twitter user’s call to New York City’s 100 Cloccs crew.RWP(Real With Power) @YHWHzSOULJAH
SOUT 2 ALL DA SLIMES OUT THERE...STILL ROCC WIT DA #100CLOCCS #212 WIT ME LIKE KEV GEEZ WUD SAY...LOL
But these boasts sometimes escalate to threats, shootings, and reprisals.
Unsurprisingly, the New York City Police Department is surveilling crew members like these online. This tactic has distressed some city residents and watchdogs, especially when investigators pose as attractive young women in order to connect with the private accounts of suspected gang members (fodder, one supposes, for future gender-studies dissertations). But what might surprise you is that community members themselves have also begun to monitor high-risk youth online, with an eye to calming conflicts and keeping them safe.Read Complete Article