NYPD Tells its Officers to Clean Up Their Facebook Profiles

nypd_badgeYou never know who’s looking at your Facebook profile. These days, it’s best not to assume that your online persona is secure from prying eyes. That’s doubly true for public figures, where physical safety becomes an even greater issue than the security of information. That’s why the New York City Police Department decreed this week that its officers must watch what they say on Facebook and other social networks.

It isn’t just the personal safety of the officers that could be affected by their social media presence; it’s the police work itself. “Personal social media sites may be used against them to undermine the credibility of the department, interfere with official police business, compromise ongoing investigations and affect their employment status,” the order read.

The new rule also prevents the sharing of crime scene photos on social media and forbids officers from contacting crime witnesses and victims online. As police departments turn to Facebook more and more to help them solve crimes, it makes sense that they should want to protect themselves on that same front. However, do you think it’s right for an employer to dictate to their employees what they can and can’t say or share on Facebook?