Gateway to latest criminal trend in the palm of your hand - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Gateway to latest criminal trend in the palm of your hand

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The line between social media and face to face interaction blurs when used in the wrong way.

Your child could take a picture of themselves on their phone then turn around and send it to someone else. But the question is what will that person do with once it gets in their hands?

Attorney general Jim Hood's office is investigating several complaints about Instagram. He first sent out a warning last week. You can read the details from our previous story here.

Criminal defense attorney Clarence Guthrie sees sites like these causing problems.

"There's always something new," said Guthrie. "And when there's always something new like that, there's always a new way to commit a crime."

The AG's office has identified a number of fake accounts around the state. Most include inappropriate pictures of young girls.

"As a parent, there's nothing that would bother you more than your child being bullied," described Guthrie. "Whether it's in person or on the internet. And so that is an added level of drama in these cases that plays out sometimes."

The fake accounts can stack up a list of crimes against the posters. Everything from cyberbullying to obscene electronic communications can apply. Madison and Rankin counties District Attorney Michael Guest says there's still room for improvement.

"A lot of our laws are somewhat antiquated as it comes to different threats, intimidations, harassment," said Guest. 

Still, the electronic trail of communications can help prosecute cases.

"So we are able to prove to the jury that this person not only posted these messages but this person, knowing they were going to do so, set up fictitious accounts in a way they attempted to hide their identity.," explained Guest.

These fake accounts were even using the name of the schools where the young girls attended. Most of the cases will be handled in youth court.

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