An organization formed by lawyers who wanted more police accountability has effectively started stalking police and created a database of what the group deems improper online behavior by officers.
Known as the Plain View Project, a play on the “plain view doctrine,” the database seeks to find and publicize comments made by police on social media.
According to PVP’s website, the project “has identified thousands of Facebook posts and comments by current and former police officers.”
Needless to say, the PVP has led to several cases of internal investigations in departments across the country due to law enforcement officers with no online filter.
According to the Washington Post, PVP watchdog operations have led to personnel investigations from coast to coast.
While the idea of being stalked on social media is intimidating, there is a way to get around it: don’t post material to social media on a “public” setting.
“All of the posts and comments that PVP captured were published on Facebook for any member of the public with a Facebook account to see,” the PVP wrote on their website.
Many individuals often forget to review their privacy settings on social media, posting things set to “public” without considering the ramifications. To make matters worse, it isn’t uncommon for people to add people they don’t know on social media, which leads to outside influences being able to see both private and public posts.
To avoid such embarrassments and possibly career-ending repercussions, social media awareness is key in law enforcement.
While the internet makes it far too easy to speak one’s mind without thinking it through, just remember one thing- someone is always watching.
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