When I first read the title of this article, “Police Turn to Social Media to Fight Crime, Dispel Rumors”, I was captivated by it due to the recent banning of social media websites in countries such as Turkey and Ukraine. The prime ministers of these countries are banning social media for a period of time with an attempt to have a successful campaign. However, it appears that social media has been useful in law enforcement. With the changing of times and an increase usage of technology and resources, even police officers are turning to social media for help.
Social media has been connecting people in unimaginable ways. The Oakland Police Department is using social media to contact and update the people in the area. This is a great way to reach out to the public and even gather information from the citizens in their counties. I found it interesting, as stated in the article, that a social media survey from the International Association of Chiefs of Police found 80% of police officers have stated that social media has helped them solve more crimes. I’m not surprised to hear that Facebook is the most popular platform, since many have found an interest in sharing these stories of the local issues that occur in their hometowns as a Facebook wall post. This is a way of spreading news on social media, which has helped the local police.
Recently, I’ve personally witnessed Social Media helping find a missing person in my hometown. His family spotted the missing Greece man on the cover of USA Today newspaper. His sister automatically tweeted the lady stating that the picture of the story that she had published was a photo of her missing brother. She responded back willing to reach out to the photographer who took the photo. He was eventually found later that day in Washington, D.C.
Some people argue the negatives of social media in this context. Sometimes it can spread rumors and lead to false information. Do you think that it’s appropriate to utilize social media in these types of situations? Are the local police departments doing the right thing by updating the citizens on crimes through social media?