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Surveillance also includes human activity on social media platforms such as Twitter, Google+, Youtube and Facebook. While individuals typically use social media to communicate and share photos, web links, and other types of information with their associates. Their information leaks and they can be collected and analyzed, which can be used for social, environmental, economic, or political governance. Hence social media can be an effective tool for surveillance.

Guess What?

Polices scan social media to help access your ‘threat rating’ !

In the summer of 2016, the American Civil Liberties Union of California requested records from 63 police departments, sheriffs and district attorneys across California. Of the records they received, 40 percent of the agencies (20) used social media surveillance tools, and most of them started using them within the year of 2015. Therefore, polices are increasingly using social media surveillance tools.

Since 2012, an application called Beware has been sold to many police departments and it serves to collect billions of records of commercial and public data from interenet, especially social media platforms. Those datas can be taken as "criminal records". 

Here is where it gets more interesting. Beware will run a complete online check to find this person’s online persona in social media, comments, purchases and any other online record. Beware then analyzes that information and issues a threat level. The threat level could be high, for example, if the person has made offensive comments online at some point in their lives.


The Beware website explains how quickly it scans electronic devices:


What do they say?

David Lyon: "Schools, employers, police department, security companies, other govenment departments are all very interested in this effective tool."

Police: "Social media makes reporting
crime easier."
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It's good, but...

Facebook, Twitter starting to block social media surveillance tool,because...

Movements like #BlackLivesMatter began and rely on social media for organizing and amplifying protests. But the social networks left a side door open for surveillance by the police. Social media surveillance tools can unfairly impact human rights!!!

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