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Police in Washington state are asking the public to stop tweeting during shootings and manhunts to avoid accidentally telling the bad guys what officers are doing.

The “TweetSmart” campaign began in late July by a coalition of nine agencies, including the Washington state patrol and the Seattle police, and aims to raise awareness about social media’s potential impact on law enforcement.

Some have called the effort a step that could lead to censorship; others dismissed it as silly. Police, however, say it’s just a reminder at a time when cell phones and social networks can hasten the lightning-quick spread of information.

A social media expert at the International Association of Chiefs of Police said she’s unaware of similar awareness campaigns elsewhere but the problem that prompted the outreach is growing.

"All members of the public may not understand the implications of tweeting out a picture of SWAT team activity," said Nancy Korb, who oversees the Alexandria, Virginia, organization’s Center for Social Media.

Korb said she is not aware of any social media post that has led to the injury of a police officer, but she said there have been a few close calls. Other times, tweets have interfered with investigations.

In those cases, police tweet back and ask people to back off.

105 notes

  1. pendorbound reblogged this from call-with-current-continuation and added:
    Possibly unlikely to happen at this second in the US. Can’t is far stronger of a word than I’m comfortable using here....
  2. shellyrl reblogged this from moralanarchism
  3. plssss reblogged this from shangheists
  4. spinhina reblogged this from almualimbeatbox
  5. shangheists reblogged this from almualimbeatbox
  6. whoviansoftheimpalaonbakerstreet reblogged this from di-imortales
  7. benjamin-gg reblogged this from thinksquad
  8. hobbleknee-smashencrush reblogged this from priceofliberty and added:
    right, because the perp is following twitter while being chased. give me a break.
  9. renkades reblogged this from fyreeprince
  10. fyreeprince reblogged this from ispyatobert
  11. nerdyoatmeal reblogged this from thewispsoftime
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  14. heavy-is-the-metal reblogged this from priceofliberty
  15. a-lonely-computer-virus reblogged this from del-sin
  16. kingdomofwar reblogged this from ispyatobert
  17. di-imortales reblogged this from almualimbeatbox
  18. bowlerhatsandscones reblogged this from heyburdmann
  19. ispyatobert reblogged this from almualimbeatbox
  20. whippedcloudsofcream reblogged this from almualimbeatbox
  21. lol1759 reblogged this from thinksquad
  22. fuckmefaerie reblogged this from coolestbanana
  23. stevehansell reblogged this from thinksquad
  24. hep0katti reblogged this from almualimbeatbox
  25. almualimbeatbox reblogged this from del-sin
  26. del-sin reblogged this from mothensidhe and added:
    Lol don’t give us things to report if you don’t want to be reported. If there is no news to be shared, no tweets will be...
  27. bigblackbailey reblogged this from priceofliberty
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