Why Making "Haul Posts" is a Bad Idea

So, you've just returned home from a successful lift. Everything went well and according to plan: you picked out the items you wanted, removed any tags from them, concealed them in a blind spot, and walked right out the front door undetected. You blended in so well that nobody even realized you were there. Now, your earlier sense of dread and nervousness have given way to a profound feeling of pride. Today, you were victorious; you got those bastards! Naturally, the first thing you want to do is log on to Raddle and share your accomplishment with the good people of /f/Shoplifting, in the form of a haul post.

Except, that would be a very bad idea.

Why you shouldn't brag about your illegal deeds

Why the heck not? Bragging feels good, dammit. It feels good to share you tales of craftiness and cunning, and receive a round of attaboy's and congratulatory virtual pats on the back in return. Well, it's not because we don't like braggarts. It's because bragging about the crimes you've committed is downright dangerous.

Consider this scenario. Every time you make a successful lift, you create a haul post on /f/Shoplifting, to showcase what you took. Now, along comes a moralizer who hates shoplifting. They see your haul posts, and are outraged that someone is stealing and getting away with it. The moralizer decides they're going to put and end to this by trying to doxx you and turn you in to the police.

Depending on how careless you've been with revealing personal information, they may actually be able to do this.

The obvious case would be if you've revealed things like your name, email address, city, etc. on your account. But even if you haven't done that, there are more subtle ways your identity could be leaked. For example, if you always use the same username for different online forums, they could search for your username in a search engine, find your accounts on other websites, and scour those for personal information. You'd need to be absolutely sure that there is no way to connect your Raddle identity to your real identity.

Another pitfall is EXIF data. Some digital cameras will embed "extra" data in their photographs, which can sometimes include the GPS coordinates of where the image was taken. If you didn't know about this feature, you could unknowingly upload an image containing the exact coordinates of your house. If a moral crusader turned this data over to the police, that could easily result in cops at your door. You'd need to make sure your images are scrubbed of any and all EXIF data before uploading them.

Yet another problem with making haul posts is that you're essentially making a public log of everything that you've stolen. Should you ever be doxxed, the police wouldn't have to dig through your account to find any clues as to what you've stolen, because you've done all the hard work for them. What might have been a misdemeanor charge for one incident of shoplifting could easily be bumped up to a felony, if your haul posts show that you've stolen enough. Prosecutors would drool at the thought. Imagine the shame and humiliation of an entire police department roaring with laughter at you, because you were stupid enough to hand them a list of every single thing you've ever stolen. If you want to make these haul posts, you would have to be sure that you've never once leaked any bit of personally identifying information, and that you never will in the future. Is a little bit of bragging worth the massive risk you're bringing on yourself?

Remember, these are just the ways we can think of for how you could be busted. There might be other, more sinister ways to catch you that we can't think of. Whenever you do anything illegal, the less people who know about it, the better - and you can't get any better than only one person. Bragging is the achilles heel of thieves. If you know what's good for you, take the secret of your crimes with you to your grave.

For these reasons, haul posts are strongly discouraged. We will not ban you for making them, because you could still post them elsewhere on Raddle. But we will point you to this wiki page, as we hope other users will. The best practice would be to use this forum for discussing lifting tips, techniques, and other things related to shoplifting, without ever admitting to stealing anything. The old /r/Shoplifting had poor security culture - we hope to remedy that here.

So please, for your own safety, don't make haul posts.