The Rise of the 'Criminal Influencer'

AP Photo/Anjum Naveed

The modern era is full of really stupid ideas and somewhere near the top are "soft on crime" policies. These are usually pushed by radical leftist Democrats and, once implemented in their jurisdictions, find themselves neck-deep in everything from constant theft to assaults and murders. 

You can see the results every day. Blue cities are often awash in crime, especially with property damage and constant theft. Many cities won't even prosecute a person for stealing anything unless it passes an absurd dollar amount. In California, for instance, you can steal up to $950 worth of goods before it becomes a felony. 

Soft-on-crime policies don't just create crime, they create an environment where crime is no big deal. In fact, it becomes something of a game, and interestingly, a way for people to gain clout. 

Thus we've begun seeing an increasing phenomenon I'm calling the "criminal influencer." 

There's one on the front page of RedState as of this writing. The influencer known as "Meatball," a black woman in Philidelphia, live-streamed herself and a whole bunch of others raiding, destroying, and looting local businesses and corporate stores. She's now facing several felony charges. 

It's great that justice was served, but Meatball isn't the first and she won't be the last. In fact, getting caught and suffering comeuppance for crimes hasn't stopped the criminal influencers from appearing.

You may recall a story back in 2017 where three black Chicago teens and a black woman kidnapped a white special needs teenager and tortured him while streaming it all live on Facebook. They forced the special needs teen to drink toilet water, cut his head with a knife, and say "I love black people" while they repeated things like "f**k white people" and "f*** Donald Trump." The four kidnappers were hit with hate crime charges.

For a time, there was a trend on TikTok that featured influencers and people desperate for attention, risking their lives by trespassing and invading stranger's homes. While TikTok took these posts down for violating community guidelines, the videos went on to go viral on websites like Reddit and Twitter. The teens responsible for starting the trend were eventually arrested. 

Being a criminal or committing criminal acts has become a new way to shock people into getting attention, and it's going to make things so much worse for society overall. People will see that committing crimes gets them fame and they may be willing to do a little jail time themselves if it means garnering followers and attention, even if it's negative attention. 

There's no way this doesn't go too far. Not only will this result in a rash of destruction, thefts, and being a public nuisance, but there's no way that this doesn't eventually lead to the death of the clout chaser or an innocent person. 

States should likely begin looking into the rise of the phenomenon and making examples of people who attempt to commit crimes to an audience. The sentencing of Meatball would be a good start, but they can't expect that lesson to sink in for stupid people with just one example. This will happen again in some way, shape, or form, and when it does, society needs to come down hard on the person or people who do it. Not doing so will cause more of it. 

They're called "influencers" for a reason. 


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