Image: Brazilian Gang Members Love Instagram
Increased Internet access in Brazil’s favelas has led to a rise in the use of social media there.
Beleaguered residents often use social media sites to document their lives in the crossfire of local gangs, with the hope of raising awareness about the daily violence and terror they endure.
But gang members are also using sites like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to assert their power and threaten enemies with images of guns, manpower and victims, reports Vice.
Skimming through these accounts – some of them clearly fake – I noticed that, besides the exposure, they also serve as a channel for communication with other suspected traffickers. Messages posted on Facebook timelines, groups and pages show gang members exchanging information and threats as readily as your aunt would share 600 nondescript photos of her holiday to Menorca.
Gang members even continue updating their profiles while they’re being investigated by police:
The increasing internet access in the country’s favelas, seen first as a victory for these poorer communities, now serves as a direct, real-time window into the lives of those involved in drug crime.
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