Entitlement to Tell on Police Facebook Sites

Walkington, Zoe; Pike, Graham; Strathie, Ailsa; Havard, Catriona; Harrison, Virginia and Ness, Hayley (2019). Entitlement to Tell on Police Facebook Sites. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 22(5) pp. 355–357.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2018.0502


Despite the increased use of social media by the police, little qualitative exploration has been carried out regarding how online spaces such as Facebook might be important sites for Police Force identity. This study qualitatively analyses a popular story told on the official Facebook site of a rural police force. It analyses the story which is co-created by both the police, and the public, and looks at how identity is created for the police through this online activity. The research finds that entitlement to tell particular stories is hotly challenged by the community and raises important questions regarding the perceived ownership of experiences in the criminal justice system. It concludes that Facebook posts might be important sites of feedback for police forces. Additionally such sites may play an important role in trust-building and community engagement, but to realise this opportunity may require significant investment in terms of resources.

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