Social media isn't just a place to post pictures and chat with friends. Many dumb criminals also use the websites and apps to brag about their crimes - remember that drug dealer who got caught because of his YouTube posts? Now, cops are getting wise to the game. That's why undercover officers are flooding popular networks with fake accounts to try and catch oversharing criminals in the act.
Social networks like Facebook and Instagram are a great place for cops to catch bad guys who can't resist posting their loot for friends to see. Even if their accounts are private, officers can still get the information they want without a warrant as long as they can convince the offender to accept their friend request.
Police in New Jersey used this tactic to gather evidence against serial thief Daniel Gatson by looking at his private Instagram account. Gatson challenged the officers' use of the undercover account in court, saying it violate his Fourth Amendment rights. But, a judge didn't agree.