Law enforcement agencies on Facebook are sometimes faced with inappropriate content posted by citizens on their pages. Although the problem hasn’t proved to be as big an issue as some agencies initially feared, it does happen. Some agencies deal with this by editing their settings so citizens can’t post on their pages. Others, who want to be more interactive and encourage dialog with the people they serve, are deleting offensive posts instead.
How then do you decide which posts should be removed? A few agencies are handling it with a Facebook takedown policy posted directly on their Facebook pages outlining the criteria for which a post would be removed.
To see a Facebook Takedown Policy installed on a police department page, check out the Long Beach (Calif.) PD Facebook page or that of the Toronto Police. I have a takedown policy template–free to use as you like–posted on ConnectedCOPS.net. Both the Long Beach and Toronto policies are based on this template.
Once you remove something, it’s a good idea to keep it along with a notation as to why it was removed, in the event someone objects. A takedown policy helps give guidance to citizens as to what’s appropriate to post but it also provides guidelines to an agency for removing something. Additionally, in the event you’re ever challenged legally, having a policy shows that your agency acts purposefully, consistently and fairly.
To install such a tab, you’ll have to learn about iFrames. It’s not terribly technical. To get started, click here.
Want to learn more about social media, the Internet and law enforcement? Attend the SMILE Conference, which will be hosted by the Dallas Police Department, Sept. 28-30. One full day will be spent on public order, social activism and the changing relationship with traditional media. To learn more or to register, click here.