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Police: Hostage Taker Was Updating Facebook During Ordeal (CNN)
Police involved in a Pittsburgh, Pa., hostage situation on Friday were faced with an interesting decision. It wasn’t whether to send in a robot or storm into a building, it was whether to have the hostage taker’s Facebook page shut down. AP The suspect, 22-year-old Klein Michael Thaxton, made Facebook posts during the five-hour ordeal, authorities said, and they feared that responses from friends, family and others might goad him into violence. In the end, police said Thaxton surrendered peacefully and released businessman Charles Breitsman. USA Today Early in the standoff, which began at 8:10 a.m. ET, Thaxton posted this message on his Facebook page: “i cant take it no more im done bro.” The police chief said authorities shut down Thaxton’s access to his Facebook page “so that we could have his full attention.” The New York Times It was the people with access to Thaxton’s Facebook account who may have had the best view into his thinking as the ordeal unfolded in the 16th floor in the offices of CW Breitsman Associates. For several hours, as Thaxton sent updates and Facebook friends wrote back, the flow of status messages chronicled the narrative of a man who seemed to have lost hope and a community that said it could relate, urging him to stay strong, to push through life’s hard knocks or to pray. The Verge Watching something like a hostage situation unfold on TV, in real time, has become sadly commonplace. On the other hand, watching a suspect update his Facebook status and accept friend requests during a hostage situation (as SWAT teams surround the building) is more than a tiny bit surreal. continued…

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