National Post (Latest Edition)



Millennial mafiosos in New York have been accused by veteran mobsters of going soft, becoming obsessed with their phones and using text messages rather than fists to intimidate victims.

Growing up in wealthy suburbs as social media exploded, the new generation is said to have become less brutal, and less versed in traditiona­l face-toface tactics like pistol-whipping.

According to court documents relating to a recent extortion plot in the city, one alleged gangster sent his victim, a union official, a message saying: “Hey, this is the 2nd text, there isn’t going to be a 3rd.”

The situation has left aging crime family bosses concerned over succession, and has also meant they have had to be more personally involved in the minutiae of criminal operations, leading to their more frequent arrests.

Using text messages to make threats also leaves potentiall­y damning evidence for the FBI to find.

“Everything is on the phones with them,” one former senior member of New York’s Colombo crime family complained to The Wall Street Journal.

The extent to which social media has now infiltrate­d the crime world was evident in the recent case of a fugitive mafia suspect who was wanted in New York.

His son took a photograph of him in a swimming pool in Florida and taunted the FBI by posting it on Twitter, along with a rat emoji.

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