Facebook is proud to tout the fact that its platform is completely open and free to everyone. Of course, that can be both its biggest flaw and greatest strength. However, this free-flowing public dialogue can lead to humorous instances like the one that occurred this week when a wanted criminal challenged a police department to get 1,000 Likes on a post. If they did, he said, he would turn himself in. Of course, that benchmark was hit in just over an hour.
It started when a Michigan man calling himself “Champagne Torino” on Facebook replied to a post from the Redford police department about a home invasion, writing “you suck!” The police then threatened to block Torino, who was already wanted by police on existing warrants. Then, Torino sent a private message to the police department, telling them that if the department’s next post got 1,000 Likes, he would turn himself in, bring donuts, and clean up public schools.
“If your next post gets a thousand shares I’ll turn myself in along with a dozen doughnuts,” he wrote. “And that’s a promise… and I’ll pick up every piece of litter around all your public schools let’s see if you can get those shares.”
The police posted a screenshot of his message and accepted the challenge, and the cops’ post accumulated the massive number of Likes in about an hour. As of Monday, the post has 4,000 Likes, but cops say Torino hasn’t turned himself in yet.
It’s strange, but criminals have a long history of shooting themselves in the foot on Facebook. There are certainly many issues with how law enforcement can infringe on people’s privacy with social media, but cases like this certainly aren’t one.