Many people create an online persona to gain a following on social media platforms such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Oftentimes this includes posting videos of various acts and events online. These videos may seem funny to some and may receive thousands of "likes," but others may be offended to the point where criminal charges are filed.
A Baltimore man is facing criminal charges, including harassment and trespassing, following incidents that took place when the man was filming videos that he later reportedly intended to post on social media accounts under the name, "Plainpotatoess." So far criminal summonses have been issued, and the man has not yet been placed under arrest.
The man's social media accounts have thousands of followers. The man would video himself approaching others in public to make fun of them, garnering a reaction from them.
In one video, the man was pushed down by the individual he was teasing. While many videos are retweeted and liked, others say the man is an Internet troll. The man has stated he was just looking to get a response from those he made fun of, and that he meant no harm. However, he did say that he had regrets regarding some of the choices he made.
This incident shows how viral videos on the Internet may seem funny to some but could be damaging to the life and reputation of those who create them if a joke is allegedly taken too far. When a video is posted online, it can be viewed by thousands of people across the nation, not just those in the local community.
This could increase the seriousness of the acts recorded in the video, and what might seem harmless to some may seem out of line to others.
Sometimes, as this case shows, such recordings could even lead to criminal charges. When that happens, it is important for those being charged with a crime to develop a criminal defense strategy that aims to reduce the charges against them or have the charges dropped altogether.