The new era in policing: NYPD creates social media unit as British PM pushes for social network blackouts
Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
Saturday, August 13, 2011
If you live in New York City and like to brag about criminal activities you had better watch what you say because the NYPD might be reading your tweets and Facebook statuses.
Social media has become a platform for so-called revolutions, for which it is praised, as well as a way for rioters to coordinate with each other in England, for which it is criticized.
The Internet, and social media in particular, has become the new front in large scale warfare along with new territory for police to monitor for criminal activities and even advertised house parties.
The NYPD has already been utilizing social media platforms in criminal investigations which have assisted in the arrest and conviction of multiple criminals. Now the New York Police Department has decided to form a new unit with the explicit purpose of monitoring Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and other social networks in an attempt to track down suspects. The unit will be a part of the Community Affairs Bureau and will extend beyond the Internet into community outreach programs.
Assistant Commissioner Kevin O’Connor will run the unit who will trawl social media networks trying to uncover chatter about crimes ranging from the seemingly insignificant house party to “gang showdowns and other potential mayhem,” according to NY Daily News.