Friday, 24 May 2013

When social media becomes antisocial

I see a number of Police Forces around the country have posted something like this:

We would urge people to consider the very real impact of their online comments in relation to this matter.
We have received a number of reports from local members of the public about tweets and Facebook comments that could potentially incite racial hatred and violence.
These are currently being investigated. If such communications are reported to us and they do breach the law, those messages may be monitored; captured and robust police action will be considered.
(This version comes from the Lincolnshire Police force)

It seems to me that immediacy of the electronic communications world can lead us into many potentially dodgy places and open us up to criticism and more besides (as Emma Way found after tweeting about knocking a cyclist of his bike!).

I find myself dealing with situations where people have posted stuff as a kneejerk and found themselves starting WWIII as a result and it is not just terrible things like the Woolwich murder that has raised the passion - communication is great but not always beneficial!

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