In an effort to stifle potential Facebook mishaps, the New York Police Department has told officers to put a silencer on their social media activities. NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly recently ordered the city’s 35,000 officers to not post about their jobs on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or any other social media sites, the New York Daily News reports.
Headlines are rife with people jeopardizing their companies and their own employment by posting sensitive or offensive material on Facebook. For police officers, the stakes are a little higher. The NYPD wants to make sure that officers don’t risk posting information relative to cases. Officers are not allowed to post photos of themselves in uniform, unless they are at official NYPD functions.
According to an internal memo obtained by the Daily News, officers are suspect to discipline up to termination if they’re caught posting to Facebook or any other social media site:
Members of the service should be aware that activities on personal social media sites may be used against them to undermine their credibility as members of the department … Members of the service utilizing personal social media sites are to exercise good judgment and demonstrate the same degree of professionalism expected of them while performing their official duties.
Last year, 17 cops were disciplined for posting offensive comments on a Facebook page titled, “No More West Indian Day Detail.” Many were found calling participants “savages” and “animals.” Investigators found that roughly 20 commenters matched the names of NYPD officers.
Not everyone agrees with the social media regulations. Robert Gonzalez, a police training expert, told the Daily News that the NYPD’s restrictions are too much:
Members of the NYPD are proud public officials and should be authorized to express that right on social media sites without retribution.
Readers: How do you feel about the NYPD’s decision?
Photo courtesy of NYPD on Facebook.