Rise of apps used to record crimes

  • 29/04/2016

The alleged recording of the fatal beating of a 16-year-old in a school bathroom has concerns about the rising number of teen crimes being recorded on cellphones.

Amy Joyner died last week and a student allegedly recorded the with a cellphone and shared it on social media. 

In another case in Ohio last week, an 18-year-old allegedly livestreamed the rape of a 17-year-old girl on the app Periscope. She faces up to 40 years in prison, on charges including the illegal filming of a minor.

In March, near Tacoma, Washington, three teenagers were charged with raping a 15-year-old girl and posting it on Snapchat, an app with more than 100 million daily users.

Last year, 18-year-old Christal McGhee from Atlanta allegedly used a 'speed filter' to take a selfie and show her friends she was driving 172km/h.  Moments later, she crashed into a driver, who survived but was seriously injured. 

Ms McGhee survived, but continued to post pictures of herself while on a stretcher, one with the caption "lucky to be alive".

"You're talking about situations where people are seriously injured, and sometimes death," says child psychologist Dr Lisa Damour. "It's so tough with teenagers because their better judgement can be overridden by their wish to be connected to their friends."

In a statement, Snapchat said: "We actively discourage our community from using the speed filter while driving. The company says a 'do not snap and drive' warning appears in the app."