NYPD's Social Media Unit Tracks Facebook

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on August 11, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The NYPD is on Facebook now, not just to publicize the police department but also to combat the growing wave of crimes that have connections to Facebook or Twitter. The NYPD's social media efforts have now given birth to a new juvenile justice unit.

The new unit will be looking at Facebook, Twitter and MySpace posts that might have criminal connections, according to the New York Daily News.

Considering the recent surge of criminal activity originating from the net, such as the rioters and looters in London that have been using social media to organize vandalism and warn others of police presence, it's probably no surprise that the NYPD has decided to step in to try to combat this new trend.

Will the NYPD's new social media tracking do any good? It seems like it already has a history of success in apprehending criminals, especially those that take to the net to brag about their exploits.

Users may at first exclaim that this kind of tracking is an invasion of privacy by the police, but in reality, what you post online is likely fair game. Most invasion of privacy claims hinge on whether or not the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

And, if you're a Facebook user who has lax privacy settings that publicly blast your status updates to 1,000+ friends and the entire general viewing public, maybe your expectation of privacy in your online posts should be pretty low.

For now, the new NYPD social media tracking efforts may prove fruitful. And, the NYPD's Facebook efforts are not alone - other law enforcement agencies across the nation and the globe are using social media as well, reports Media Post.

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