Kristopher “Kasper” Flowers, a 30-year-old 18th Street gang member, works at a Tatoo shop in Hollywood. His site, “Kasper’s World”, is linked to the gang’s website. Photo courtesy of Washington Post.
Apparently gangs are now online. Thatâ€™s not a joke. Itâ€™s been reported recently that big gangs such as the Crips, Bloods, MS-13, 18th Street, and others have become web-literate. They go online through their own personal websites and social networking sites and showcase illegal exploits, make threats to other gangs, and honor killed or jailed members.
Theyâ€™ve been called â€œweb bangersâ€ and they post pictures of themselves holding guns and they post messages trying to taunt other gangs. They use their site to boast about their gangâ€™s superiority. Kristopher â€œKasperâ€ Flowers is a 30-year-old member of the 18th Street gang. He claims heâ€™s got nothing to hide and heâ€™s just keeping it real. The 18th Street gangâ€™s website has a link to his site: â€œKasperâ€™s World.â€
Gangs didnâ€™t used to be a problem in small suburbs and communities. However, in recent years, gangs have accumulated in over 2,500 U.S. communities according to the FBI. Thatâ€™s why authorities are looking in every corner to find anything about the gangs that they can. The gangâ€™s easy-to-find websites have been a good place to look.
So far, gang web-usage has helped investigators make arrests. Gang members like to brag about gang activity on their websites and on the very popular social networking site, MySpace. Because of such bragging, some investigators have been able to make arrests. For instance, a teenager was just recently arrested because he sprayed his gang nickname on a church. Investigators traced the nickname to his MySpace account which housed his address, photo, and real name.
Police have been able to learn gang â€œcultureâ€ through the websites and blogs. Theyâ€™ve been able to pick up on subtle words and language use that allows police to track them down. George W. Knox, the director of the National Gang Crime Research Center compares gang culture to al-Qaida, saying that authorities have to learn the language and the culture in order to track these people down.
Source: Washington Post