01/08/14 254 W - + 4 - 2 Dallas Police Discipline and Social Media

Here's an interesting story out of Dallas. Their police chief uses Twitter to announce when they've fired someone. Okay, that's an intentionally incendiary summary. Let's try that again. The Dallas Police Department publically releases information about employee disciplinary actions, including termination, and through communication channels including the social media service Twitter. Here's the story, found via the Drudge Report. The authors are Versha Sharma and Gordon Bottomley. They focus on the Twitter and Facebook announcements of DPD disciplinary actions, notably firings, of twenty-seven officers and employees in the last year. Talk about transparency!

This is the DPD Twitter feed, and this is the DFD Facebook page. And this is the Police Chief's twitter feed.

What should we make of such social media usage, with regard to internal activities for public employees? Should we apply special filters or added transparency for law-enforcement, or emergency services? What about the social media channels themselves? Is Twitter too terse for such subjects? The Facebook versions are longer, or much longer. Perhaps we should ask about balance, first and foremost. Is the "bad news" balanced by (or preferably outnumbered by) "good news?" No police department would benefit from their own "shaming ourselves" site, it would seem. And looking at the Dallas police Facebook page, their social media use is anything but that. The page is a robust outlet of department and community information. 

Again, very interesting story and very interesting use of social media. Your thoughts?

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