Social networking has suddenly taken a turn for the worse, with police arresting a man for not using Twitter after they’d asked him to. Is this what things have come to or is there more to the story than meets the eye?
Social networking has had its fair share of run-ins with the law over the last couple of years. It’s enabled burglars to work out when someone is on holiday, it’s saved lives, it’s saved someone from jail, and provided an alibi for an arrested suspect. And now it’s got someone arrested, or at least aided in someone getting arrested.
Media Memo reports that the arrest took place after a Justin Bieber concert. Maybe I’m showing my age here or just the fact I’m from the U.K. but I’ve never heard of him. Regardless, the Canadian teenage pop singer was due to appear at the Roosevelt Field mall in Long Island on Friday but the event had to be canceled after too many teenage girls turned up and the whole thing got a little out of hand.
The police allegedly asked James A. Roppo, 44, of Hoboken, N.J., a senior vice president from Bieber’s label Island Def Jam Records to assist in dispersing the crowd. The request was for Roppo to send a Tweet out on Twitter advising fans that the appearance had been called off and that they should all go home instead.
Police arrested Roppo alleging that he’d failed to cooperate with efforts to disperse the crowd. He’s been charged with endangering the welfare of children and obstructing governmental administration. Strangely, Bieber’s Twitter account does include Tweets advising fans that the show had been canceled and requesting they leave so as to avoid any trouble.
Roppo is pleading not guilty to the charges leveled at him, and to be honest I’m a little confused how it even came to this. There could be more to the story than first meets the eye but it does appear the police’s whole case is hinged on Roppo’s inability or unwillingness to use Twitter. Which is bizarre to say the least.
Maybe the whole thing is a publicity coup to try and increase Justin Bieber’s fame outside of Canada. Because I’m damn sure I’m not alone in having never heard of the guy.