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Anonymous Twitter Vigilantes Unmask Gang of Criminals

Terrific Tweeters Track Terrible Tyrants

When the public is in need, Twitter users @GreggyBennett and @FanSince09 heed their call. Using their superhuman tweeting abilities, the pair were able to successfully uncover a dastardly group of criminal miscreants and hand over their details to the police. And all without the need for any unsightly Batman-esque collateral damage.

Yesterday, Philadelphia police released CCTV footage of a gang walking down a dark Philly street. The group, formed of just under 20 men and women, were about to commit a horrific hate crime. At around 2245, Center City, the group came across two gay men and proceeded to verbally – and then physically – attack them. The two victims, whose names haven’t been publicly released, were left bloodied, beaten and humiliated. The police hoped that releasing the footage would help the public track down the gang – who left one of their victims needing painful surgery to wire his jaw shut and the other with fractured bones and cuts to his face.

The police would soon get what they wanted, and it was all thanks to an unlikely caped crusader: an anonymous Twitter user.

First, user @GreggyBennett tweeted a photo sent to him by a ‘friend of a friend of a friend’ featuring a group of people at a restaurant who looked suspiciously similar to those in the video. Although he reckoned he’d found the culprits, he didn't know enough about the photo to identify them specifically. Enter @FanSince09. A South Jersey resident, he retweeted Bennett’s photo and immediately received a swathe of responses informing him that the restaurant in question was an Italian named La Viola. The restaurant was in Center City. Everything checked out.

Using this new information, FanSince09 was able to look up the restaurant’s Facebook check-ins over the last 24 hours. He found the profiles which matched the people in the pictures and voilà: the mystery of the cowardly group of disgusting homophobic scumbags had been solved.
A Philadelphia police officer has since made a series of tweets all-but-confirming that, although the group haven't yet been arrested, FanSince09's info checks out. Without Twitter, the group may have got away with it. Instead, they're staring down the barrel of both the American judicial system and a lifetime's supply of internet hatred. I'm not sure which is scarier.

Keep up the good work, Twitter.



Emile is a postgrad from the University of Saint Mark and Saint John. He’s hoping to break into journalism or publishing, and won’t stop blogging until he’s managed it! Follow him @EmileAtSMF.

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Anonymous Twitter Vigilantes Unmask Gang of Criminals Reviewed by Emile Cole on Thursday, September 18, 2014 Rating: 5
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