Following a few isolated incidents online involving racial and derogatory sentiments posted on social-media sites, the NYPD is putting restrictions on its officiers regarding their online social-profiles.
Up until now, NYPD officer’s social-media profiles went virtually unchecked by their department heads. Yesterday it was announced that new socia-media restrictions have been put in place for what NYPD officers can, and can’t, do online. The following restrictions are ment for Twitter, Facebook and any other online social media-site that NYPS officers may use in the future.
The new regulations prevent officers from openly identifying themselves as members of the NYPD and can no longer upload photos of themselves in their uniforms. In fact, officers are “urged not to disclose or allude to their status” anywhere on their social-profiles. Some of the other rules are more common sense and were already frowned upon, or not allowed while on the force. This included being ‘friends’ or ‘following’ a minor that they are not related to, or uploading any photos taken from crime-scenes. Officers can not discuss information about witnesses or facts about a case on social-media.
The documents outlining the new rules states, “members of the service utilizing personal social media sites are to exercise good judgement and demonstrate the same degree of professionalism expected of them while performing their official duties”.
Although the new regulations may seem harsh, NYPD officers aren’t the first government-funded organization to have restrictions put in place for social-media sites. Active-duty soldiers, FBI agents, CIA employees and other government officials have had similar restrictions when it comes to social-media information for some time now.