Social networking sites, already mired in many a controversy, could now be blamed for murders too, it seems. A Harlem murder case is being attributed to angry exchanges between two young men who had grown up together.
According to police, Blake, 22, and Dancy, also 22, had spent weeks sending each other angry messages via their Twitter accounts.
The pair, childhood friends, lived on the same floor of a high-rise block of flats but had fallen out over a girl.
Police sources said the pair had started to send each other spiteful messages on their Twitter accounts.
Other friends joined in the row by adding to the tweets.
Police said hours before Dancy was blasted in the neck with a shotgun, he sent his victim a tweet which said: 'N------s is looking for u don't think I won't give up ya address for a price betta chill asap!'
Police said Dancy, who was training as a nurse, died after being shot as he left his home in Harlem, New York on December 1st.
The murder weapon was later found abandoned in Central Park along with a spent shell.
Two days after the killing Blake took to his Twitter account to post the message: 'R.I.P. Kwame'.
Dancy's mother, Madeline Smith, said she was stunned to learn that tweets between the friends could have led to murder.
'That's not a reason to shoot somebody,' she said.
'That's crazy. I don't know what's going on with that Twitter thing.'
Smith said her son and Blake had been friends since childhood. 'They were good friends, that's the sad part about it,' she said.
Detectives in New York are set to send a legal order to the Twitter site so as to get access to the messages that were sent between Blake and Dancy.
Criminal experts said it would be the first time the 140-word postings would be used as evidence in a murder trial.