September 24, 2012 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Kind of thin. Social media has changed effing EVERYTHING, not just one famous crime spree.
posted by Melismata at 2:45 PM on September 24, 2012

but who has cell phone reception on a campout?!

I think that social media has changed the way the sociology of crime (and, as Melismata points out, everything else as well)...but I don't know if I would say that means it would be a net positive. I can think of other kinds of crimes perpetuated through the internet and social media (e.g., just think of Anonymous/"/b/" whenever they get riled up for a cause.)
posted by subversiveasset at 2:49 PM on September 24, 2012

I was hoping this would be about crowdsourcing Jack The Ripper attacks.
posted by elizardbits at 3:01 PM on September 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

The past would have been different if it had taken place in the future? Oh, really? Film . . . or should I say, FUTURISTIC VIDEO DISC BEAMED DIRECTLY TO YOUR GRAY MATTER!!!1! at 11.
posted by liketitanic at 3:05 PM on September 24, 2012

Do celebrities really use that "check-in" Facebook thing?

It might be a bit harder for a manipulator like Manson to get to his preys, but once he'd have them he could easily cut them off from the outside world by taking away their phones, no?
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 3:07 PM on September 24, 2012

Why can't it work both ways? How much bigger would Jonestown have been if Jim Jones had been able to leverage social media to gain more followers?
posted by ceribus peribus at 3:11 PM on September 24, 2012 [5 favorites]

What if John Cabot had had GOOGLE MAPS??? What if Marion Crane had had TRIP ADVISOR???
posted by Sonny Jim at 3:24 PM on September 24, 2012 [5 favorites]

What if King Solomon had viable cloning technology and gave one baby to each woman?
posted by idiopath at 3:29 PM on September 24, 2012 [13 favorites]

I really can't wait till the phrase "social media" dies a horrible and painful death. Then we can tweet about it.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:35 PM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

I was hoping this would be about crowdsourcing Jack The Ripper attacks.

We’re looking for professional-ish lurkers and snakesmen for EVERY ALLEY to hop up in front of dollymops and stab them.

You need to know how to ACTUALLY, REALLY PLAY YOUR KILLING INSTRUMENT! Lessons in your pa's butcher do not count, so please include some proof of that (a reference from a known bludger would be great, or a resume will do.) Just don’t FLAM…you’ll be embarrassed if you show up and everyone’s looking at you wondering why you can’t actually sever an artery.

We will feed you gatter, hug/high-five you up and down (pick your poison), give you a tightener, and thank you mightily for adding to the big shine we are planning to make.

Apologies AFP!
posted by yellowbinder at 3:45 PM on September 24, 2012 [6 favorites]

You are so going to piss off the Massed Union of Crazed East End Psychos, yellowbinder. You don't give away serial murder.
posted by Sonny Jim at 3:48 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

A seemingly clever idea that isn't. The spooky thing about the screams that night was that nobody could tell where they were coming from. The canyons are like that. Cielo Drive is just one little street cutting into the hills among many. Nobody would ever hashtag it based on shouts in the night.
posted by Scram at 1:12 AM on September 25, 2012

What, no one joins cults anymore because of Twitter? Really?

I think this underestimates the desperation humanity (and the members of the Manson family) is capable of.
posted by kalimac at 4:29 AM on September 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

Well I liked it, as an exploration of how old social tactics don't have the same effect anymore. Of course the psychos of the world will change their tactics to take advantage of new technology. But on the upside, vulnerable and isolated people are much more likely to find a healthy community and support before they meet up with a wacko. I don't think it'll save the world or anything, but the odds have improved a bit.

Patricia Krenwinkel would have fit right into a fat acceptance group on Livejournal, or found a forum for people with endocrine problems where she could get support and help and blow off steam with other people who knew exactly how she felt. She wouldn't have needed Manson to give her acceptance and purpose.

But I don't buy it that Manson's crappy songs and singing would be a disadvantage when compared to the variety on offer from MySpace or YouTube. That's exactly what autotune is for.
posted by harriet vane at 4:49 AM on September 25, 2012

Anyone who thinks "social media" has changed anything has never watched or read an old movie/book that talks about chatting with neighbors, ham radio, party line phones, social calls and 4 delivers-per-day postal systems.
posted by DU at 5:30 AM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think this was an interesting idea, but it could have been executed in a much more interesting way. One of Manson's motivations, if you strip away all that occult helter skelter mumbo jumbo, is that he never got the success in the music business he felt he deserved. Nowadays, his demos would not only be on Myspace, but he might actually get a career out of it after some random critic on Pitchfork gave him a 7.2.
posted by jonp72 at 9:54 AM on September 25, 2012

But DU, those ways of connecting are slow and relatively local. They don't give any support to people who don't fit into their neighbourhood, or allow contact to be made in an instant.

I'm not saying social media is some never-seen-before miracle. Just that it's given a new dimension to an ancient need to communicate, and extended the opportunity to form communities to people who were previously excluded from them. It's broadened our sense of community, which I think is an improvement.

The post probably would have been better if it'd led with the pre-killings scenario of Patricia and Manson at a party, which actually proposes a different outcome to what really happened. The Cielo scenario is different only in the details, but ends the same way and so doesn't have much impact as a 'what if?' story.
posted by harriet vane at 8:00 PM on September 25, 2012

I was just telling someone about this one time we were driving around lost because the road map was wrong and we couldn't find a phone booth to call for directions. That wouldn't happen today, not with cellphones and map apps and what not...
posted by bonefish at 5:08 AM on September 30, 2012

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