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NYPD silences internal Twitter account that posted names and photos of released felons

NYPD (STOCK)

As the NYPD continues to explore the best ways to harness social media, officials have reportedly silenced a Twitter account operated by the 76th Precinct in Brooklyn. Maintained by commander Capt. Jeffrey Schiff, the page routinely posted names and images of felons recently released from prison. Critics have lambasted these "Recidivist Alerts" as a flagrant invasion of privacy towards those who have served their time and are working to begin life anew on the right foot. Schiff maintains, however, that both the personal details and photos are public information and that the felons he's highlighting have been taken into custody dozens of times. "These aren't guys I've arrested one time or twice," he said in an interview with DNAinfo. "It's the repeat offenders who are very dangerous, who are committing crimes again and again in our neighborhood."

Speaking on the topic of social media at a December 21st press conference, police commissioner Ray Kelly said, "We want to use it productively," adding "a lot of this is just new ground." Kelly believes the NYPD will need to establish a comprehensive, all-inclusive approach toward social media rather than letting individual precincts utilize sites like Facebook and Twitter as they see fit — a tactic which clearly hasn't worked well in this case.

The Verge
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