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Online cops patrolling social networking sites

Posted in Crime Prevention May 5th, 2009 @ 10:24 am

For the past several years, online social networking sites have exploded. Sites such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and Digg have escalated the need to screen content for inappropriate activity. According to a Newsweek article, Facebook as well as other social networking sites have a range of policing activity.

These companies have divisions called User Operations that police content for harassing messages, show drugs or drug use, nudity or pornography. This content is immediately deleted and sometimes users are put on a blacklist never to use the site again. These teams set guidelines and make judgment calls to keep the integrity of their site.

You could probably call them cops on a beat to undercover cops who mingle with spammers and hackers to stop illegal activity. Actually, some of these teams are involved in law enforcement. Police and FBI have learned that Facebook accounts can offer excellent information about criminal suspects. Facebook receives up to 10 to 20 police requests each day to help them find information regarding crimes that attract national media attention. In fact, Facebook has helped to find runaways. When a runaway logs onto their Facebook account the site tracks the geographic locations of their log-ons.

So enjoy the social networking sites, but understand that what you may be saying or uploading is patrolled by cops on the site.

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