Tracking People On Social Media In OKC

Thursday, August 11th 2016, 11:09 pm
By: Karl Torp

From festivals to school events, every milestone to every meal, most people don't hesitate to post it. But are we sharing too much? News 9’s Karl Torp went out to see how easy it was to track someone down based on a single post.

At OKC Festival of the Arts, capturing one moment can teach you a few things about several others. News 9’s Karl Torp searched for people taking selfies and spotted Helen Lewis and her husband Bill.

HELEN LEWIS: "What are we doing?"

KARL: "Oh I don't know, you tell me, what are we having?

HELEN: "We already had ..."

BILL: "Loaded potato chips."

HELEN: "Loaded chips."

It was a picture of those chips with #ArtsFest that led News 9 to Helen.

KARL: "Helen I'm going to start with you because I think we know more about you than you think."

HELEN: "Ok."

KARL: "You have a daughter named Shelon, you have a granddaughter named Zoey?"

HELEN: "MmmHmm.”

KARL: "You have a sister named Lucy."

HELEN: "Wow."

KARL: "Your mental age of Facebook is 37."

HELEN: "But how did you know our names?"

BILL: "Facebook, you posted it on Facebook."

KARL: "You just posted it."

Next was Brian Perry. It was like he and Karl were old friends.

BRIAN: "How do you know me?

KARL: "I saw picture of you."

BRIAN: "No, you didn't."

KARL: "I did."

BRIAN: "On Facebook?"

KARL: "I did."

Perry's post revealed details that get more personal.

KARL: "And I know her name is that weird?"

BRIAN: "That is weird because I didn't post her name in the picture, so how did you know that?"

KARL: "We actually went to your wife's page, you went and saw Peter Pan?"

KYLIE, Brian's Daughter: "Yeah."

KARL: "With your mom? You got a picture with the cast?"

KYLIE: "MmmHmm."

BRIAN: "There we go."

KARL: "That's where it was."

No matter the event, like movie night at the Myriad Gardens, people are compelled to show friends and strangers all the fun they're having.

KARL: "Are you Madison Lynn?"

MADISON: "I am."

KARL: "Is your son Daxton, not Daxon, Daxton with a T."


KARL: "Ok and you sir, are you Derek?"

DEREK: "I am."

KARL: "Were you a nursing student?"

MADISON: "I was."

KARL: "Used to be at OSU OKC?"

MADISON: "I was."

KARL: "You just graduate?"

MADISON: "Last year."

KARL: "You weirded out yet?"

MADISON: "I'm assuming it's Facebook?"

KARL: "Of course, it's Facebook."

The info may seem trivial to some, but Edmond Police have used the posted pictures to help frantic families.

"We've used it before to track down people who run away, figure out where they're at," said Sgt. James Hamm with the Edmond Police Department.

Sgt. Hamm warns, all those posts aren't as private as you think.

"There are people out there who specifically look for things on social media, whether you're telling people you're out of town and they're going to burglarize your house or it's those child predators out there looking for photos of children," he said.

For News 9’s experiment, surprisingly it was a kid who seemed the most weirded out.

KARL: "You're a little freaked out?"

DAXTON: "Yes, yes I am."

KARL: "Why?"

DAXTON: "Cuz."

KARL: "Cuz, I know your name?"

DAXTON: "Yes, yes I'm really scared."

KARL: "That scares you?"

DAXTON: "I was like you (referencing his mom) should know him if they know my name. I'm scared right now."

Police also say to never say you're going out of town and also be sure to set all your social media accounts to private where only friends see it.