Using social media to assess risk

Could the probation service soon be using computerised algorithms to assess risk of harm to the public by the automatic search of offenders’ Facebook posts?

The law and social media

Our legal system is struggling to keep up with modern online behaviour and many people don’t realise that they could be breaking the law by a simple tweet.

Social media and crime

The financial cost of cybercrime in the US is allegedly larger than the illegal drug markets for cocaine, heroin and cannabis – combined, 33% of all Internet-initiated sex crimes were instigated through social networking sites

The law can’t cope with crimes on social media

The ideal is for social media networks to police themselves, but you only have to look at some of the outrageous, sexually violent tweets that many women routinely encounter online to know that this approach isn’t always sufficient.

Sign up to get Twitter Alerts from your emergency services

It is up to each emergency service to decide in what circumstances it should use a Twitter Alert. But, obviously, services will want to restrict their use carefully to crisis, disaster and emergency communications where spreading accurate safety information is critical. Here are a few examples of real-life Twitter Alerts from the US:

Police pin down criminals

Pinterest is the latest social media platform that police services all over the world have started using for a wide range of reasons. To find wanted criminals and missing persons. To locate the owners of stolen property. And much more beyond…

How burglars use social media

Criminals and law enforcement officials are early adopters of new technologies and social media in particular in their battle to outwit each other. There are plenty of ways in which burglars in particular can develop their lean systems to target and gather intelligence on potential victims and minimise the risks of getting caught. Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare are particularly straightforward ways of finding out if someone is away on holiday or business. Google StreetView makes advance reconnaissance a piece of cake. The infographic below summarises some of the main techniques in current use…

Two ways that Twitter can, literally, save lives

Two ways that Twitter can, literally, save lives. The Natalia Project from @crdefenders provides human rights’ workers with an alarm bracelet that communicates their exact location in times of danger via social media. Volunteers sign up to follow the workers on Twitter and can instantly raise the alarm and bring public pressure to bear.