Alabama law enforcement is quickly learning the pros and cons of using social media as a tool.
The Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office has been using Facebook to quickly spread important information to the community, but sometimes the concept behind using social media can backfire.
According to The Anniston Star:
The Sheriff’s Office regularly posts surveillance photos taken at robberies and thefts, and twice a week posts videos of the county’s “most wanted.”
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Those posts work, [Calhoun County Chief Deputy Matthew] Wade said, and more often than not, tips called in or sent through Facebook private messages lead to arrests. Such messages never replace calling 911 in the event of an immediate emergency, however, Wade said.
With that connectivity can also come comments from the public that unintentionally spread misinformation, Wade said. The Sheriff’s Office has a social media policy — no profanity, comments must stay on topic — but monitoring those posts can be taxing, he said, and reining in untrue rumors is almost impossible.
“Some comments are good and some are dangerous and inaccurate,” Wade said.
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