You Are Being Followed: Police Social Media Surveillance
Though major social media networks, like Twitter and Facebook, rescinded access to their APIs from early surveillance software leaders, the market for multi-platform peeks into citizens’ daily digital lives continues to thrive.
Think your department doesn’t matter that much? With big data companies looking to sell their wares to any agency that has a budget - and even those that don’t - each one is a potential customer, each one is a potential place in need of oversight.
MuckRock, with your help, has been filing requests around the country, and as we enter the new year, we’re recommitting to our mission to bring transparency and conversation to the policies and tools that are used to keep us safe.
Whether it be through software like Geofeedia or SnapTrends, which help police scan and correlate information from multiple outlets using geolocation information, or via their own personal profile pages, we want to know what baggage an online presence brings in this new era.
For over a week, MuckRock has been accepting your submissions for our social media surveillance survey, and as of today, over a hundred of you have suggested towns and cities nationally as subjects for our inquiry.
Last week, Twitter announced its renunciation of data from social media surveillance software Geofeedia, and MuckRock asked you to find out more from your local police departments. Since then, 21 have taken the charge to bring greater transparency to the ways law enforcement is monitoring your Newsfeed.
Twitter joined Facebook and Instagram in blocking access to its data by Geofeedia. As part of a project on protester surveillance with Color of Change, MuckRock has received materials from, among other places, Cooks County, home of the social media monitoring software company, and we’d like you to help us look at similar policies near your home.
LittleSis is partnering up with MuckRock to investigate how police across the country are monitoring, tracking, and archiving public social media posts.