Social Media Poll

Discussion in 'The Poll Forum! Public Welcome To Participate' started by Angelonline, Feb 11, 2014.

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Does social media help or hurt the in missing person cases?

Poll closed Feb 11, 2015.
  1. It helps the investigation.

    59 vote(s)
    76.6%
  2. It hurts the investigation.

    5 vote(s)
    6.5%
  3. Unsure

    13 vote(s)
    16.9%
  1. Angelonline

    Angelonline Registered User

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    Does social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Myspace, etc, etc) help or hurt in missing person cases. Feel free to discuss and also to site cases where it helped or hurt in your opinion.
     
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  3. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    One of the few countries in the world where discussion about an on-going murder investigation, and identified suspects, is allowed is in the US. Social media does not help. It distorts perceptions and incites the energy of a mob.
     
  4. aust amateur slueth

    aust amateur slueth Active Member

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    Social media can be helpful, just as websleuths can be. It can be useful to see how different players in cases behave on social media (think Remy Ramsaran or the main players in the murder of Skylar Neese)

    it can also be hurtful, especially if people harass the families or deliberately ignore facts.
     
  5. Montjoy

    Montjoy Inactive

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    Like most tools, social media are themselves neutral; whether they are used to help or hurt depends on those using them.

    I would say that a website like Websleuths is almost always positive because there are rules here and mods to enforce them. But take away the mods and the rules and the discussion of some cases could drown in rumor, conspiracy theories, prejudice, libel, and witch-hunts.
     
  6. KateB

    KateB New Member

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    I think it hurts. I read posts by players in some cases on social media that seem to be presented as confidential LE information and the same "confirmed facts" are never reported from reliable, dependable MSM sources. It gets difficult to keep the what we know and what is said on social media details separate.
     
  7. Finlaggan

    Finlaggan New Member

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    Think the power of people can help,but when missing people are tagged to a site unsure may be distressing for families looking at theories, when,they know by police loved one has gone down one route, but people trying to help with no experience come up with theories. Flip I wish no harm.
    I have no police skills would hate to do more damage than good.
    Do have a specialist skill but due professional body inUK where I,m not allowed
    To give any advice thoughts outside my own environment
     
  8. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    I think this is a glass half-full/empty question. Social media isn't going anywhere so it's up to the good people of the world to use it to their advantage. The word gets out faster and more efficiently IMO. LE can post updates on their pages and people can go there for information.

    If negativity, trolling, and rumours on certain pages are the norm, then simply don't view those pages. If we use social media as a place to glean and exchange information, rather than a place to wade into the rampant gossip and drag people through the mud, then we're using the technology to our advantage and ultimately helping an investigation.

    JMO.
     
  9. ZannO

    ZannO Inactive

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    Intelligent people are not afraid of knowledge, but use it to benefit. If you don't like an idea, don't listen to it. But to have the opportunity to have help and shun is silly.
     
  10. revampz

    revampz New Member

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    People talk......and these days its on social media...........like it or hate it, its not going away.

    While I agree that rumors spread like wildfire through it and of course trolling is disguisting............police find out information thru social media that they would not have found otherwise....by people who would not go to police "talking" ......and I know this for a fact from a police relative.....they scour facebook (as we do on websleuths) for information. While it is not a missing person case, we had a big murder case solved here by scouring facebook........(the perp was a teen).
     
  11. Bark

    Bark New Member

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    It helps immensely in the case of runaways. If the runaway still actively uses their account after running away, you can assume that they are okay. Also tweets/posts/etc are traceable and any pictures taken can be indicative of a person's location.

    Even if they don't use it, their account can give an impression of their life. Whether they ran away or were abducted. Some runaways even go as far as having their last tweet being "I cannot deal with my parents any longer." You can also use their friends/followers to see if they have been tweeting about doing things with the missing person and eventually find out whose home they are staying at.
     
  12. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    I cannot answer with the options available. It does both good and bad IMO.

    On the one hand it is an amazing tool to spread images and information quickly and time is everything.

    On the other, it provides a place for trolls and people with hidden agendas to spread MISinformation or distract from the case by right fighting about usually stupid stuff that has nothing to do with the missing person.

    I need an option that says BOTH.
     
  13. newone

    newone 2nd mouse gets the cheese

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    http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/0...ospital-room-left-with-1-day-old-baby-police/

    Quebec young adults noticing an alert for a baby just stolen from a hospital recognized a woman they knew, called police and staked out the perps apartment - happy ending for a newborn abduction.

    ''The quartet of three women and one man, all in their early 20s, had been spurred into action by Facebook reports of an unusual kidnapping from Sainte-Marie Hospital."
     
  14. JSinUK

    JSinUK New Member

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    I think social media can potentially be a help, but it is not always going to be wholly positive.

    It's very nature means that all too often it might do more harm than good. I can already see that this forum is very well moderated with a great sense of social responsibility. But the same is sadly not always true of other sites I have known.

    The very anonymity of the internet allows for keyboard warriors to put anything out there, passing off mere opinion as fact, backed up by lies to make it more credible. And some people just have malicious agendas. So the danger will always be in seperating fact from fiction masquerading as fact. Where does the truth stop and fiction and/or mere unsubstantiated opinion begin? We can never truly know.

    I do certainly think that in missing person cases, putting pics and info out there to bring to a wider audience has obvious potential to help. And social media can be useful in that sense. But there will sadly always be those brave - *sarcasm alert* - keyboard trolls who play with people's feelings in cruel ways. Social media is itself neutral. But people can use it for good or for evil.
     

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