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Selfie snaps heard around the world

By Rana Novini, Anchor/Reporter, r.novini@krdo.com
Published On: Mar 03 2014 07:20:26 PM CST

KRDO NewsChannel 13's Rana Novini takes a look at the selfie craze -- the good, the bad and the ones that could land you in hot water.

The social media selfie craze has helped break records and catch crooks.

Last night Ellen DeGeneres set a retweet record with her star-studded selfie before the Oscars telecast was even over.
    
During a comic bit, the Oscars host prevailed upon actor Bradley Cooper to take a picture with her and several other stars crowding around, including Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
    
Long before midnight Sunday, the photo had been retweeted more than 2 million times, breaking a record set by President Barack Obama with the picture of him hugging First Lady Michelle Obama after his re-election in 2012.
    
Twitter sent out an apology because all of the retweeting disrupted service for more than 20 minutes after 10 p.m. ET.

But as one Fort Carson soldier found out, selfies can also mean serious ramifications.

Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey posted a picture of herself sitting in a car on the social media website Instagram.  The caption reads, "This is me laying back in my car hiding so I don't have to salute the 1700 flag, KEEP ALL YOUR 'THATS SO DISRESPECTFUL/HOWRUDE/ETC.' COMMENTS TO YOURSELF cuz, right now, IDGAFFFF."

The photo was met with online outrage and Fort Carson officials are now looking into the matter. As of Monday, a punishment had not been decided.

In California, police used a "selfie" photo found on a cellphone left at the scene of a church burglary to track down and arrest three suspects in the crime.

On it, investigators found a "selfie" photo, and a detective recognized the location where the photo was taken as Harborside Park in Chula Vista.

Police took the photo to the park and showed it to people.  One of them recognized the person in the photo as 26-year-old Adam Howe and told officers where to look for him, police said.

The next day, police found Howe. They searched his belongings and found several items that had been taken from the church, according to police.

Dr. Lauren Brengarth, assistant professor of strategic communication at UCCS, told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that social media can be a good way to market yourself personally and professionally, but if a post is distasteful or misconstrued as so, it could impact you negatively.

"We're seeing this more and more," Brengarth said.  "That's why social media literacy is really important.  People need to understand the impact and ramifications of things posted online that they don't really think through."

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