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Chattanooga Police talk violence over social media after Facebook shooting

"With the advent of social and how popular it's become in the last 5 or 7 years," said Sgt. Josh May of the Chattanooga Police Department. "It has almost become a playing ground, a feeding ground, for who can become more vocal or boisterous and who can do the most outrageous for that attention." (Images: Cleveland, OH Police Dept. / MGN)

Chattanooga police officers say social media plays a big role in crimes around the city.

This comes after Steve Stephens of Cleveland, Ohio recorded a video, where he walks up to 74-year-old stranger Robert Godwin, and shoots him.

Officers say they see evidence of criminal activity on Facebook everyday, and this video did not come as a surprise.

Related | Cleveland Facebook murder shows best and worst of social media

"With the advent of social and how popular it's become in the last 5 or 7 years," said Sgt. Josh May of the Chattanooga Police Department. "It has almost become a playing ground, a feeding ground, for who can become more vocal or boisterous and who can do the most outrageous for that attention."

"A problem in fighting that, is how quickly fights can start and finish. CPD says criminals look for fame when broadcasting crimes because of how many views those videos will receive. That video of the murder in Cleveland was viewed 1.6 million times before Facebook took it down.

Related | Facebook murder victim's relative: 'He was a good guy, would do anything for you'

Before social media erupted, CPD says violence would take a lot longer to brew, but now with how instantaneous the internet can be, violence moves at a much faster rate.

"Every single day, we see people with a lack of conflict resolution skills," said May. "They get into conflict on what I call the Facebook streets, then they take it to the real place, and without understanding how to resolve said conflict, it usually ends up in violence or a fight, shootings, houses being shot up. We see it all of the time."

Police say parents can play an active role in preventing crimes over social media.

The best way to do that is to keep an eye on their social media activity and have open communications about what children see and share on the internet.

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