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 The JUST Social Media section is dedicated to followign the social media trends that create awareness, inspires thought and facilitates change in the world around us.

« 6 Trends Shaking up Media and Entertainment | Main | Snowden revelations force Obama's hand on surveillance program »

No Warrant Needed When Using Social Media To Catch Criminals  

Mike Campbell
August, 2013

The new trend in law enforcement means criminals and cops are both using social media to fight crime or escape detection. As pointed out by Walter Pavlo in Forbes, the interesting thing about social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc., is that people like to brag about their interests and activities, including illegal activities. In response, law enforcement has increased its presence and monitoring of social networks. According to a 2012 survey conducted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police:

  • 92.4% of agencies surveyed use social media.
  • The most common social media use by survey respondents was investigations, 77.1%.
  • 56.3% of agencies not currently using social media are considering its adoption.
  • 61.9% of agencies surveyed have a social media policy and an additional 18.9% are in the process of crafting a policy.
  • 60% of agencies surveyed state that they are somewhat, or very, concerned about online radicalization and violent extremism.
  • 74% of agencies report that social media has helped solve crimes in their jurisdiction.
  • (IACP Center for Social Media)

    While law enforcement agencies have the benefit of using social networks without warrants, this may be creating what some call a social media police state. The information provided by Edward Snowden shined the light on the data being collected from social media via PRISM, which involved at least nine different technology companies.A court order was not necessary since the inception of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which is intended to gather information from non-Americans but only requires a 51% confidence in a target’s ‘foreignness.’

    Reader Comments (1)


    In searching for articles relevant to entertainment, justice, and social change I was introduced to Patricia Douglas. Douglas who was age twenty in the year 1930 was allegedly raped by a man named David Ross you was a sales rep for MGM. Since Ross was a sales rep for the movie studio his crime was covered up and he was ultimately acquitted. However, if social media was around in 1930 and Douglas story was shared with a global audience then the outcome may have been different. In today’s society when an injustice occurs society is able to voice their outrage and demand justice. Take for example the case of Trayvon Martin a seventeen year old who was shot to death walking home from the store. No one really knows what happened that night, but social media played a huge role in that case. “It was the national voice which has literally forced open the door to many more unanswered questions, e.g., why did the Sanford Police Dept. fail to impound Zimmerman's vehicle? Why was a toxicology report not filed? Why did investigators fail to speak with key witnesses? And, why didn't the police take his clothing for analysis?”(2012, Huff Post). “These discoveries were only made possible by relentless pressure caused by the social media outcry” (2012, Huff Post). If social media was created in 1930 maybe Patricia Douglas would have found justice. If you are interested you can check out the article at the following link:

    Reference: 2012. Huff Post Crime. Justice Through Social Media: The Internet Can Be More Important Than your lawyer, the Government, and the Police: Retrieved:

    August 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterNadia

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