rights of the defendant. Therefore the police department must enable regulation of using non-official social media accounts to carry out investigations.
Another crucial social media regulation that the police department should enact is restricting the use of devices owned by the department to access the internet or social media. Social media is known to be addictive, so officers can easily misuse public resources and use them for social media activities. In most departments, the devices have better browsing speed than personal phones and computers. Therefore it is very easy for police officers and other personnel to misuse these resources. Enacting regulations to monitor the use of police department resources is crucial because it ensures that public resources are not wasted. It costs a lot of finances to purchase and develop systems used by law enforcement. Therefore it is not prudent for police officers to use these resources for personal use.
Creating regulations on restricted use of police department resources in personal browsing and internet access is crucial because it reduces the chance of criminal elements hacking the system. Most police department databases are under constant cyber-attack. However, the system is not vulnerable if they are used correctly for official use only. Hackers can easily find a loophole in the system if regulations are not in place to ensure that the internet and devices are used for official business only. Most social media websites are full of viruses and bots that can attack a police department system if used unofficially. A firewall protects the official social media accounts of police departments; therefore, they cannot easily be hacked compared to officers’ unofficial personal social media accounts.
Another right that every American, including police officers, has been awarded under the First Amendment is freedom of the press. Social media has evolved to be an unofficial media house in America. Influential social media users have been known to use specific channels where they can easily broadcast their news. However, this freedom of the press needs to be regulated by police departments to avoid misuse by officers. For example, some police officers have been known to be social media influencers, and hence thye have a huge following. Any information or news they post on their channel can easily be shared on social media by their followers. This may have devastating effects if the wrong information is leaked. One of the recent examples that have been common in the USA is “doxing.”This refers to the publishing of personal information of police officers with malicious intent. The practice was rampant, especially during Black live Matter, which can result in targeted violence towards police officers and their families. Doxxing can quickly occur when police officers who are social media influencers share photos and information with their fellow officers. Therefore, the police department should, as much as possible, restrict the information that police officers place in their new channels.
Social media is known to make individuals seek self-aggrandizement. The practice is prevalent among social media influencers who want to have as many likes and views as possible. This is because apart from the fame that comes with social media, there are financial benefits that social media companies pay their influencers when the public uses their website regularly. This puts a lot of pressure, especially on police officers who are social media influencers, because they seek not only self-aggrandizement but also financial gains to supplement their salaries. Therefore, some officers, especially those joining the forces, can easily misuse their social media channels and post sensitive information to increase their views and likes. This may negatively impact the police department, especially when investigating high-profile cases. Some of the social media influencers who are police officers have been
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