The Brief: Three nursing home workers were arrested for posting a Snapchat video mocking a dying patient.
In June 2018, three workers at an assisted living facility in Georgia posted a Snapchat video of a 76-year-old hospice patient who had suffered a stroke. The workers, who were tasked with caring for the patient, were arrested for allegedly exploiting an elderly and disabled person. In the video, which they titled “The End,” the workers are seen mocking and ignoring the patient, who has since died.
Abuse of elderly and/or disabled people is not uncommon, and social media has brought forward some cases in which mistreatment and neglect have been documented, often by the people carrying out the abuse. ProPublica reported 35 cases since 2012 of nursing home or assisted living workers sharing photos or videos of residents without their consent. These videos include mocking, neglect, abuse and invasions of privacy. More than 45% of these cases involved Snapchat.
Increases in smartphone use, live-streaming, and social media sharing are changing how crimes, mistreatment, and invasions of privacy are documented and reported.