Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tweet Police

        Twitter is making headlines recently as it is becoming a more widely-used form of social networking. Not only are regular joes and celebrities getting twitter accounts, but so are police departments. As CNN reported, police departments have been using twitter to report everything from road closures to suspect descriptions.
       Fortunately for police and the public, news is immediate, and the public does not have to wait 24 hours to hear it in traditional mass communication. Twitter is an efficient way to spread the news to the public. With new budget cuts on the rise, twitter offers police departments a cheap alternative to other forms of police reports.
       On the contrary, Twitter as a form of news can be a bad thing. Twitter is limited to 140 characters, so the police are somewhat limited in what they can say. While they could post multiple tweets, it is hard to know, how many is too many? Police do not want to bombard the public with news, as it may lessen or worsen the severity of an issue. There is also the concern that the public might flock to a crime scene once a tweet is posted. 
       All in all, I think that police departments should use tweets with limitations. They should not rely on tweets but also report news in traditional media. It is great that organizations like police departments are embracing new technology and ideas.


  1. You got it right! We have to be thoughtful, reflective, and critical, in thinking about what are and are not appropriate uses for these media!

  2. agree- they should use twitter within limits and should not solely rely on twitter - 140 characters isn't sufficient to explain an incident in detail