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Post: Uniformed Influencers: Police – Social Media


Social media helps her reach as many people as possible and keep them engaged with the issues that matter to her. Thus, communication becomes a powerful tool for authority, which has a monopoly on the use of force.

Objectivity and impartiality vs. social media

There is no such thing as “police” in Germany, instead a distinction must be made between the federal and state police, among other things. In any case, communication is becoming more and more important. It not only helps to prevent and fight crime, but also influences the public’s perception of the police.

Topics can be brought forward or ignored, facts can be emphasized or hidden. Police researchers warn that the principles of objectivity and impartiality that are essential to official communication have been shelved when it comes to social media.

From the source of information to the transmitter now

Police officials are always breaking new ground in terms of communication: they are rapidly conquering social media and adapting to the traditions of the relevant network. Citizens are called by their first names, beautiful pictures convey emotional stories, and trendy video clips entertain.

First of all, the speed of communication through social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is increasing tremendously. The motto of modern police communications is: speed before integrity. And this is dangerous. If fake news hits the internet, it spreads so fast that it’s almost impossible to fix.

This problem is exacerbated by the fact that for decades the police have been viewed as a privileged resource: citizens and journalists often did not question police reports. However, major events such as attacks or international summit meetings have shown that social media can not only be a decisive medium in communication, but can also be used strategically.

Because it turns the police into a broadcaster and it seems that they can do without a press agent to deliver the news.

Source: ZDF

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