NYPD Issues Tough Social Media Guidelines; No Site Creation By Units


New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly issued the first marching orders governing what his 35,000 officers can and cannot post on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and any other website, reports the New York Daily News. The tough new edict bans the creation of any site by precincts or units, and sternly warns individual cops “not to disclose or allude to their status as members of the department” on the Internet. Any officer caught violating the order faces disciplinary action, including termination. Cops are even prohibited from posting photos of themselves in uniform, unless at official ceremonies. While the nation's largest police force has used social media to foil gang warfare, intercept terrorist plots and bust criminals bragging about their exploits, it has also been a two-edged sword. Capt. Jeffrey Schiff, commanding officer of the 76th Precinct in Brooklyn, left the department vulnerable to litigation by tweeting the names and mug shots of paroled convicts. Last August, 17 cops were disciplined for posting racist and offensive comments on a Facebook page called “No More West Indian Day Detail.”

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