Criminal Justice

Instagram User Outing State's Witnesses, Encouraging Intimidation in Philadelphia

Stop snitching goes social

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An anonymous Instagram user in Philadelphia has found a new and terrifying way to utilize the photo sharing app: Identify witnesses in violent crime cases, and encourage people to seek revenge against them. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that an Instagram account called rats215 "has outed more than 30 witnesses since February, posting photos, police statements, and testimony on the photo-sharing website." Many of those witnesses testified with the expectation that their identities would be kept secret, yet the account has posted pictures taken in the court room as well as images of testimony available only to prosecutors and secret grand juries.