The Grande Prairie RCMP is reminding those with a bit of extra confidence behind the keyboard that their actions and words online have consequences, whether they intend them to be perceived that way or not.
Constable Lindsay Ralph says with continued use of social media in people’s day-to-day lives, real-life and online life intertwining so closely can result in complex situations that can get out of hand.
She says things can take a turn quickly if people are not mindful about what they decide to post, comment, or message to another person online, especially if it’s threatening, harassing, or inappropriate in nature.
“It [social media] just gives us additional ways to be in contact with each other,” she says.”If they’re sending threats, or they continue contacting somebody after they’ve been asked to stop contacting them,” she adds
Cst. Ralph some situations could result in municipal fines or even criminal charges, such as uttering threats, criminal harassment, or extortion. Earlier this year, Grande Prairie RCMP reported an uptick of complaints regarding extortion on social media. At the time, police said most of the cases started with friend requests on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and dating apps.