News Media Barred from Social Media-Internet-Law Enforcement Sessions


News reporters were barred from sessions yesterday and today at the sixth annual Social Media, the Internet and Law Enforcement (SMILE) conference in Richmond, Va., the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. Among sessions during that period were “Multi-Agency Knowledge Sharing Through Social Media,” “The Dark Side of Facebook: Online Radicalization and Security Implications for Law Enforcement,” and “The Social Tightrope Between Building Community Participation and Being Big Brother.”

At a session on Monday that was open to news media, Richmond Police Chief Bryan Norwood said that the use of social media is a way “we try to tell our own story. It’s a real positive way to interact.” Norwood stressed the ability of his department to disseminate nontraditional information. He said profiles and news of the department’s K-9 unit are big hits. He and the other chiefs also said social media could be a powerful investigative tool. “I was somewhat hesitant,” said Chief Rick Clark of Galax, Va. “(Then we) started getting crime tips, and I realized what an important tool it is.”

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