Instagram Account Outing Crime Witnesses Being Investigated By Police

Instagram Account Outing Crime Witnesses Being Investigated By PoliceImage via vpickering on Flickr

An Instagram account that publicly identified witnesses who cooperated with authorities is being investigated by Philadelphia police and prosecutors, according to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The @rats215 account, which has since been shut down by Instagram, had just under 8,000 followers and, per its bio, a mandate to “expose rats.” Beginning in February of this year, the profile published photos, testimony, and police statements of more than 30 crime witnesses. In addition to concerns about witness intimidation, authorities are looking into the sources of leaks, as some of the published information came from sealed statements.

"People feel they can hide behind a name,"  Lt. John Walker of the Southwest Detectives told the Inquirer. "It's a challenge we're facing and a challenge we're attempting to work through."

[via The Verge]

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Tags: instagram, philadelphia, crime
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