A hostage situation unfolded over Facebook today when a 22-year-old Pittsburgh man held a victim hostage in a downtown skyscraper… and updated his Facebook status in real time. Klein Michael Thaxton, 22, updated his Facebook page throughout the day with real-time, public status updates such as “welln pops youll never have to woryy about me again you’ll nevr need to by me anything no need to ever waste ur hard earned money on me. i’ll live n jail you dnt want me around anymore thats kool bye…i love u assata sis.”
Thaxton’s hostage liveblogging was the second such incident in recent weeks. On September 7, a robbery at a Denver-area radio show went awry and turned into a day-long hostage situation in which the hostage takers communicated with police and loved ones via Facebook status updates.
Both incidents ended relatively peacefully, begging the question as to what impact being able to communicate with friends or followers during the situation had on the outcome. On the other hand, the growing ubiquity of the mobile web and Facebook applications such as Facebook Messenger, which became even easier to use on Android phones this week, will mean that events of this sort are likely to become commonplace.