Harmful effects of social media on Heather Elvis case - WRBL

Harmful effects of social media on Heather Elvis case

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Social media has become a helpful resource for law enforcement agencies in solving cases, but it can also cause issues.

Lieutenant Robert Kegler of the Horry County Police Department says they have only been using Facebook for a few years and in that time they have seen big results.

"It gives us the ability to get the information out as quickly as possible," he said.

Kegler says posting mug shots or surveillance camera video on their Facebook has led to tips and information that have helped solve crimes.

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He says recently they have gotten a lot of attention with the Heather Elvis case.

"Once I posted this particular picture 836 people who follow this page shared it as a result it reached over 32,000 people," Kegler said in reference to a picture of Heather Elvis posted days after she was reported missing.

Debbi Elvis, Heather Elvis' mom, says that Facebook has been invaluable for her and her family in helping to find her daughter.

"I think social media is solely responsible for getting the information out as fast as we did," she said.

The case has gotten a lot of attention, even nationally, but Elvis says that is not always helpful.

"The knowledge, nationwide, of this case has caused some negative things to be out there," said Elvis.

Elvis says because anyone is able to post online or even create their own websites, a lot of misinformation has gotten to the public.

 "If you see a lot of random facts and speculations, that's a red flag that you might not want to take that as truth because it is social media and it is people behind that social media," said Elvis. "When you have people you always have good and bad," she added.

Elvis says to only use the official find Heather Elvis Facebook page or the Horry County Police Department's websites.

She says that only using these sites helps to centralize information as well as weed out any rumors or speculation.


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