Stanford University: Gang-associated youth avoid violence by acting tough online, Stanford sociologist finds. “Through his role as the director of an afterschool youth violence prevention program on Chicago’s South Side, [Forrest] Stuart recruited 60 young men affiliated with five different gang factions for an in-depth study about urban gang violence in the digital age. For two years, he spent 20 to 50 hours a week conducting direct observations with these young men. In addition, he conducted in-depth interviews where he asked participants to review each day’s social media activity with him. During these debriefing sessions, Stuart asked about the origins, intent, meaning and consequences of their aggressive posts so he could better understand how their online activity compared with their offline behavior.”
Berkman Klein Center: When Twitter Fingers Turn to Trigger Fingers: a Qualitative Study of Social Media-Related Gang Violence. “A study by BKC Faculty Associate Desmond Patton, et al. addresses the challenges many researchers and practitioners face when trying to understand relationships between social media use and gang activity in marginalized communities. It outlines the methods, guidelines, and results to their study to better address this barrier.” This article links to the research article which I was able to completely access.
Chicago Sun-Times: Cook County board votes to permanently dismantle gang database. “The Cook County Board voted to destroy the county’s gang database Thursday, setting legal steps and guidelines to make sure the database can’t be restarted. The vote was the death knell for the contentious database, also called the Regional Gang Intelligence Database. Last month, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office announced it had ‘terminated’ the database, a decision that came after no other law enforcement agency agreed to host it.”
The Intercept: NYPD Gang Database Can Turn Unsuspecting New Yorkers Into Instant Felons. “As The Intercept has reported, the NYPD’s gang database was massively expanded in recent years, even as gang-related crime dropped to historic lows. The information on the secretive list is available to prosecutors but not to those named in the database, who often learn that the police have labeled them gang members only if they are arrested and slammed with inexplicably harsh charges or excessive bond. The database has been widely criticized as arbitrary, discriminatory, and over-inclusive — with no clear process in place to discover or challenge one’s alleged gang affiliation. Like [Keith] Shenery, an overwhelming majority of people in the database are young black and Latino men.”
Daily Collegian: Lawsuit: Chicago police falsely ID thousands as gang members. ” Civil rights groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that the Chicago Police Department relies on an error-plagued database that names up to 195,000 people as gang members, including many who have never been in a gang…. Those listed as gang members have a harder time landing jobs, are more likely to be denied bond after arrests and are often targets of harassment by police or immigration officers, it contends.”
US News & World Report: Data Obtained by AP Shows Social Media Alters Gang Life. “Gangs’ embrace of social media to goad foes or conceal drug dealing in emoji-laden text is the biggest change in how gangs operate compared with 10 years ago, according to new law enforcement data provided exclusively to The Associated Press ahead of its release Tuesday by the Chicago Crime Commission. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites have radically altered gang culture in Chicago. They are having a similar influence on gangs nationwide.”
Gizmodo: China Bans Peppa Pig Videos on Social Media for Being Associated With Gangster Culture. I 100% cannot even. “Few people would think of the British cartoon character Peppa Pig as a subversive icon. But don’t tell that to the Chinese government. China has started to ban Peppa Pig from social media for being too ‘gangster,’ deleting over 30,000 videos of the cartoon pig on one platform alone.”