|Indian Police: New Race With Social Media|
We need to fully understand how these new media are used by miscreants. We also need to devise strategies to counter the propaganda that is carried out by these new means. Any measure to control the use of such media must be carefully weighed against the need for the freedom to express and communicate. I am sure that in the coming months our police forces would be able to work out effective strategies to deal with these tendencies,” Prime Minister said while addressing the annual conference of DGPs/IGPs in New Delhi on Saturday.
But for Indian police force, overcoming menaces camouflaged in virtual world, particularly social media, is a Herculean task. Here are five strategies Indian police force must adopt immediately to tackle challenges that may emerge from new media.
1. Police officers must have an open mind. They must not consider social media as an enemy. The social media is not a localised phenomenon. It’s a global trend that it likely to remain for a century or more. And that may even overshadow conventional media in the coming days.
2. Hence, it is not like a terrorist module that you can neutralize easily. Instead, you need to be a part of the game; you have to be a friend of social media. Every police officer must open accounts in Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. just to begin with. Let there be a guideline of dos and don’ts.
3. If 5,000 police officers become active users of social media, the police intelligence will automatically improve. Remember, most news are actually broken in social media first. Pakistan techie Sohaib Athar, a resident of Abbottabad, actually live-Twitted the mysterious helicopter raid that killed Osama-bin Laden. There are many examples to substantiate how conventional media uses Twitter as a source for their stories.
4. Indian police must do a detailed study of how police forces in US, UK, Australia etc. have leveraged Twitter, Facebook etc. to their advantages. You will be surprised all small-town police forces in many developed nations have separate and highly active twitter accounts.
5. Finally, co-opt college-going students to your social media brigade. Give incentives to ensure that tech-savvy young students become not just the eyes and ears of police force, but actually act as their voice in virtual world.