Police and social media: The rise of the twoppers

00000There has been endless media coverage on the use of social networks in the recent riots. A more considered debate is now emerging and the call for emergency powers to close down social media in times of unrest has been pretty much put to bed. However, there remains an abiding impression that looters used Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry Messaging to outflank the police, who were at a loss how to respond. However, many police services …

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#researchmethods: Using social media for social research

00000I recently evaluated a pilot project which used online surveys to get local peoples’ views on policing priorities (A virtual approach can mean real engagement). As part of the evaluation, I utilised web-based survey software to gather the views of participants. It was quick and easy to use and succeeded in getting a very high response rate. This got me thinking about other ways of using social media in social research. I was inspired by …

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There’s more to Facebook than organising revolutions and riots

00000Back in the 1980s the answer to everything was 42. Douglas Adams’ joke “ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything” started off as a cult among schoolboys (and one or two schoolgirls), and spread to computer science geeks before entering the mainstream via the Internet. New research in 2011 has revealed that ‘42’ is no longer accurate – it now appears that the answer to everything is ‘social media’. Social …

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