Your Drug Dealer Is Likely On Twitter

by BILLY GRAY · February 3, 2010

Don't tweak and tweet! Your friendly neighborhood Tina purveyors are all over the social networks. And gang-busting po-po are becoming their Facebook friends and Twitter followers! Do I smell a 6th season of The Wire?

According to Thomas Watkins of the AP, after one meth-dealing member of the Baseball Furies was released early from jail, his peers assumed he'd become an informant.

"They sent a warning on Twitter that went like this: We have a snitch in our midst."

Somehow I imagine that's a hell of a paraphrase, unless this gang just left a West Side Story casting call. I'd like to know what the tweet really said. Also, while a boon for law enforcement, this is a shame for gangs. It is impossible to come off as tough or cool or fearsome in anything referred to as a "tweet." Tweet. I can't stand the word. It's nails-on-chalkboard to me. Anyway, the fuzz became a follower of the local ruffians:

"Unbeknownst to them, that tweet and the traffic it generated were being closely followed by investigators, who had been tracking the San Francisco Bay Area gang for months. Officials sat back and watched as others joined the conversation and left behind incriminating information."

Unlike Avon Barksdale and his acolytes, the California gangs mentioned in the article are way behind the digital curve. They are just now migrating from the MySpace graveyard to flavors of the month (I hope) like Twitter and Facebook:

"Gang use of Twitter and Facebook still lags behind use of the much-older MySpace, which remains gang members' online venue of choice."

- Call me even more old school, but I prefer this kind of gang interaction: