Offensive communications: exploring the challenges involved in policing social media

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The digital revolution has transformed the potential reach and impact of criminal behaviour. Not only has it changed how people commit crimes but it has also created opportunities for new types of crimes to occur. Policymakers and criminal justice institutions have struggled to keep pace with technological innovation and its impact on criminality. Criminal law and justice, as well as investigative and prosecution procedures, are often outdated and ill-suited to this type of criminality as a result. While technological solutions are being developed to detect and prevent digitally-enabled crimes, generic solutions are often unable to address the needs of criminal justice professionals and policymakers. Focussing specifically on social media, this article offers an exploratory investigation of the strengths and weaknesses of the current approach used to police offensive communications online. Drawing on twenty in-depth interviews with key criminal justice professionals in the United Kingdom, the authors discuss the substantial international challenges facing those seeking to police offensive social media content. They argue for greater cooperation between policymakers, social science and technology researchers to develop workable, innovative solutions to these challenges, and greater use of evidence to inform policy and practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalContemporary Social Science
Early online date03 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 03 Jan 2019

Fingerprint

social media
communications
justice
Criminality
offense
police
social technology
criminality
criminal law
technical innovation
prosecution
social science
Social Media
Communication
Criminal Justice
interview
evidence
Politicians
Crime
Police

Keywords

  • Social Media
  • Policing
  • Offensiveness
  • Digital Policing
  • Offensive Content Online

Cite this

@article{024b24485b034cc7b6a20b85fe4a5dbd,
title = "Offensive communications: exploring the challenges involved in policing social media",
abstract = "The digital revolution has transformed the potential reach and impact of criminal behaviour. Not only has it changed how people commit crimes but it has also created opportunities for new types of crimes to occur. Policymakers and criminal justice institutions have struggled to keep pace with technological innovation and its impact on criminality. Criminal law and justice, as well as investigative and prosecution procedures, are often outdated and ill-suited to this type of criminality as a result. While technological solutions are being developed to detect and prevent digitally-enabled crimes, generic solutions are often unable to address the needs of criminal justice professionals and policymakers. Focussing specifically on social media, this article offers an exploratory investigation of the strengths and weaknesses of the current approach used to police offensive communications online. Drawing on twenty in-depth interviews with key criminal justice professionals in the United Kingdom, the authors discuss the substantial international challenges facing those seeking to police offensive social media content. They argue for greater cooperation between policymakers, social science and technology researchers to develop workable, innovative solutions to these challenges, and greater use of evidence to inform policy and practice.",
keywords = "Social Media, Policing, Offensiveness, Digital Policing, Offensive Content Online",
author = "Mark Williams and Michelle Butler and Anna Jurek-Loughrey and Sakir Sezer",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "3",
doi = "10.1080/21582041.2018.1563305",
language = "English",
journal = "Contemporary Social Science",
issn = "2158-2041",
publisher = "Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Offensive communications: exploring the challenges involved in policing social media

AU - Williams, Mark

AU - Butler, Michelle

AU - Jurek-Loughrey, Anna

AU - Sezer, Sakir

PY - 2019/1/3

Y1 - 2019/1/3

N2 - The digital revolution has transformed the potential reach and impact of criminal behaviour. Not only has it changed how people commit crimes but it has also created opportunities for new types of crimes to occur. Policymakers and criminal justice institutions have struggled to keep pace with technological innovation and its impact on criminality. Criminal law and justice, as well as investigative and prosecution procedures, are often outdated and ill-suited to this type of criminality as a result. While technological solutions are being developed to detect and prevent digitally-enabled crimes, generic solutions are often unable to address the needs of criminal justice professionals and policymakers. Focussing specifically on social media, this article offers an exploratory investigation of the strengths and weaknesses of the current approach used to police offensive communications online. Drawing on twenty in-depth interviews with key criminal justice professionals in the United Kingdom, the authors discuss the substantial international challenges facing those seeking to police offensive social media content. They argue for greater cooperation between policymakers, social science and technology researchers to develop workable, innovative solutions to these challenges, and greater use of evidence to inform policy and practice.

AB - The digital revolution has transformed the potential reach and impact of criminal behaviour. Not only has it changed how people commit crimes but it has also created opportunities for new types of crimes to occur. Policymakers and criminal justice institutions have struggled to keep pace with technological innovation and its impact on criminality. Criminal law and justice, as well as investigative and prosecution procedures, are often outdated and ill-suited to this type of criminality as a result. While technological solutions are being developed to detect and prevent digitally-enabled crimes, generic solutions are often unable to address the needs of criminal justice professionals and policymakers. Focussing specifically on social media, this article offers an exploratory investigation of the strengths and weaknesses of the current approach used to police offensive communications online. Drawing on twenty in-depth interviews with key criminal justice professionals in the United Kingdom, the authors discuss the substantial international challenges facing those seeking to police offensive social media content. They argue for greater cooperation between policymakers, social science and technology researchers to develop workable, innovative solutions to these challenges, and greater use of evidence to inform policy and practice.

KW - Social Media

KW - Policing

KW - Offensiveness

KW - Digital Policing

KW - Offensive Content Online

U2 - 10.1080/21582041.2018.1563305

DO - 10.1080/21582041.2018.1563305

M3 - Article

JO - Contemporary Social Science

JF - Contemporary Social Science

SN - 2158-2041

ER -