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How Can Police Use Social Media

It’s not hard to understand how social media can be used in bad ways. After all, it’s a platform where people can share their thoughts and ideas openly. Unfortunately, that also means that social media can be abused, and sometimes people do just that. To help protect your rights on social media, you should first understand what you’re allowed to say and how the social media giant reserves the right to enforce its rules.

How Can Police Use Social Media?

What Is Social Media?

1. Social media is a communication tool that allows people to connect with one another electronically.

2. Social media can be used to share photos, videos, and thoughts about current events or other topics.

3. People use social media to express their opinions, feelings, and ideas.

4. Some people use social media to bully, attack, or harass others.

How The Police Use Social Media

The use of social media in global crime-fighting is extensive. Common uses include the identification of criminals, evidence sources and submission of distress reports. Police departments around the world are still exploring expansive uses of social media to support crime investigation and prevention.

Despite its obvious advantages, social media involvement in combating crime also poses pitfalls. Law enforcement officers might inadvertently disclose personal information, sensitive operational materials and policing tactics. Also, information released by the police through social media can be misinterpreted by the public.

During the course of our research we were able to identify a number of ways in which social media could help improve crime-fighting performance.

For example, social media platforms can aid police agencies in communicating with the public via their official handles, managed by their new media departments. This has proved very effective in Australia and the the United States of Americaw as sway of disseminating critical crime prevention tips to the public.

Social media platforms can also promote community policing, improve public image, and uphold strong ethical conduct in the police force.

Below are six different ways law enforcement is utilizing social media and real-time search to
enhance tactics, disseminate public information, and ultimately prevent criminal activity.

Social Media Stakeout

Social media advocates stress listening as a part of any brand’s online marketing strategy.
Listening to the bad guys doing bad things has always been a part of police work. It’s important
for police to search the real-time web to target particular keywords and phrases being passed
around on social media. Use of social media monitoring has a strategic, tactical and operational
application for law enforcement.

Tracking and Informing with Twitter

As we all know, Twitter has plenty of uses for individuals and companies. Law enforcement also
uses the service to communicate with the public.

The Digital “Wanted Poster”

In the vein of an Old West “Wanted” poster, displayed in the most trafficked area of town,
modern-day law enforcement agencies are posting descriptions of criminals on today’s most
trafficked spots — namely the social web.

With millions of users, extraordinary reach, and the lightning-fast exchange of text, photos, and
video, platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are ideal for getting the word out about
wanted persons with up-to-the-minute updates.

Thwarting Thugs in the Social Space

Myspace, Facebook and Twitter are popular with gang members, and police use this to their
advantage. Law enforcement has been able to infiltrate street gangs by posing as fellow gang
members online, making connections, and intercepting criminal communications as they happen.
Information like photos, videos, and friend links help law enforcement understand the dynamics
of gangs when investigating their activities.
“Investigators build phony profiles to ‘friend’ gang members either within YouTube, Facebook
or Bebo, and then may migrate that friendship to another platform and gain trust and get their
‘friends’ to share useful information,” said SMILE conference organizer Lauri Stevens.

Anonymous E-Tipsters

The program allows tipsters to send information anonymously through a variety of means
including “anonymous web chat, text tips and secure social media publishing.” Filtered alerts can
then be pushed out through a police department’s central location to other web mediums.
Bundled with other offerings, tip411 can then be published with Google Maps to create a
clickable, interactive crime “heat map” of sorts where others can click on links directly to add
more information and tips based on location. This program is meant to encourage increased
interaction between the police and the community through real-time web tools.

Tips from the community have been a time-honored way that citizens have worked with the
public to fight crime.

Police Blotter Blogs

Individual cops aren’t about to turn into citizen journalists anytime soon, but the police are able,
through social media and real-time updates, to provide essential information that the public and
news gathering agencies need to know. Journalists today often use the web for their first line of
research, and rely on web-based police reports for many of the details they need for a story.

A police blotter is the record of events at a police station. Traditionally, a desk sergeant kept a
register of these events. Nowadays, Twitter feeds, blogs, YouTube, and Facebook Fan Pages are
being used by captains and chiefs to put out the digital equivalent of the police blotter in realtime.

Publishing a register of crimes and arrests in an area has been an online activity for a while now,
especially through local newspaper websites. But social media is allowing many police officers
on the scene to report the publicly available details of a crime for themselves. Reporters are
getting their facts directly from a stream of real time-data and blog posts coming from the

Pros And Cons Of Social Media In Law Enforcement

In today’s society can you see yourself without social media? The world as a whole has developed into connecting with one another via, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, all social sites that allow you to network, share thoughts, pictures, and memories. There are many positive and negative aspects with social media, for example, social media in the workplace. Many employers have policies intact in order to gain positive feedback while minimizing the negative effects that can occur. In some careers there are pros and cons of social media. Throughout the year’s social media has impacted those who have chosen a career in Law Enforcement. As far as announcing job positions and solving crimes, officers have been terminated due to the actions.
Crime prevention, one tool used by agencies to prevent crimes. Every time someone posts their vacation, career, loved ones, or daily routine schedule, they become a potential target. Also posting children, predators have many social networks that can harm them. The U.S. Dept. of Justice puts the number of children abducted by strangers at 115 a year, 45 percent abducted was found by helpful tips on social networking.

Public Relations, building relationships online within the community is also a tool used by many agencies. Law Enforcement agencies can share valuable information through post and forums, such as, neighborhood crime watch, local accidents, events, guides, and local resources. The most instrumental use having social networking is spreading the word of an emergency. Also, gaining control over the community, having a trustworthy relationship, providing the community with tips to secure the community
Long, cruel, and intensive background investigations are conducted for candidates to separate those who trustworthy enough to carry the shield. Social networking has allowed background investigators to gain new and valuable insight into the character of their law enforcement candidates. Law enforcement and other sensitive positions would be well advised to clean up their social networking pages in advance. Any illegal activities or embarrassment to the department can disqualify participants in furthering their process.

Now that were aware of the pros, let’s discuss the negative effects social media has on Law Enforcement. Personal credibility is essential for law enforcement. Through social media, people easily can attack a police officer’s character. If an officer’s integrity is compromised, courtroom testimony and investigations are at risk. Law enforcement officers can find their honor under serious attack online at any time. Cases have occurred where comments posted online by officers have led to disciplinary actions.

What Are the Social Media Rights You May Lose.

You may lose some of your social media rights if you violate the terms of service or privacy policies of social media platforms. For example, Facebook imposes a policy that forbids users from sharing more than three friends’ contact information. Twitter also has rules about what content you can post and how much you can spend on ads. If you break these rules, you may be banned or have your account suspended.

How to Use Social Media to Your Advantage

If you take advantage of social media to promote your business or career, you may need to follow company policy and respect the privacy of others who use social media platforms. For example, LinkedIn makes it difficult for people to Upload Pictures with less than 50 KBs in size.Similarly, Instagram forbids users from using their images for commercial purposes without getting permission first from the owner. In addition, many companies ask employees not to use social media for personal reasons (e.g., communicating with family member online). By following company policy and taking other precautions when using social media, you can protect your rights and ensure that your voice is heard without fear of retribution.

3 Ways to Protect Your Rights With Social Media.

3.1. Use Social Media Appropriately

When using social media, it’s important to be aware of the rights you’re taking away from others. For example, when sharing a photo of your protest, be sure to mention the name of the organization or group you’re standing with and their permission before doing so. also make sure that any images or videos you share are safe for both you and those who may see them.

3.2. Use Social Media to Connect With Others

When using social media, it’s important to connect with others in a positive way. Make sure not to use social media to harass, insult, or tarnish someone else’s reputation. Additionally, be careful about sharing personal information – such as your address or phone number – without first getting permission from the person you’re emailing or messaging.

3.3: Use Social Media Tools Wisely

Be aware of all social media tools that can be used against you (for example, hashtags and TikTok videos). If you think someone is using a tool against you, take steps to remove them from your account or report them to law enforcement officials.


Social media is a great way to connect with customers and spread your brand. However, there are some risks that can occur if not managed properly. In order to protect your rights with social media, you should familiarize yourself with the different social media rights that you may lose and use them wisely. Additionally, be sure to use social media to good effect by using it to promote your business and reach more potential customers.

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