Anti-Social Media | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Anti-Social Media

One danger of social media, everyone knows, is oversharing. People post updates about the dumbest things: cute stuff their kid did ... where they went for dinner ... not to mention the status of their hostage drama and ensuing police stand-off.

So it was last week, when Klein Michael Thaxton, 22, became a kind of social-networking anti-hero for taking a hostage in a Gateway Center office building while armed with a knife, a hammer ... and his Facebook account. As Pittsburghers pondered cryptic posts he'd made there, police also tracked the site — "he's very keyed in [to] what's going on Facebook," one officer announced on the police radio several hours into the drama — while urging citizens not to interact with him. (Though the request came too late to prevent one Facebook commenter from urging Thaxton to "POOP OUT THE WINDOW.")

After six hours, Thaxton released his hostage, Charles Breitsman, unharmed. Pittsburghers were left to wonder: What kind of person checks in on social media during a hostage situation? Then again, what were the rest of us doing there? Here's a look at some Pittsburghers reacted to developments throughout the day. 

— compiled by Chris Potter

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Kaibur Coffee

By Mars Johnson