Queensland police unleash a social media lynch mob 5

The Queensland Police social media strategy came seriously unstuck this weekend as  a wave of prejudicial comments resulting from its FaceBook site threatened the prosecution of an alleged child killer.

The site had earlier announced a breakthrough in the eight year investigation of the disappearance of Daniel Morcombe. The thirteen year old vanished while waiting for a bus along Nambour Connection Road in Woombye, under the Kiel Mountain Road overpass, on December 7, 2003, sparking the biggest missing-person investigation in Queensland Police history. Police announced  that a 41 year old man had been charged with one count each of murder, deprivation of liberty, child stealing, indecent treatment of a child under 16 and interfering with a corpse. More…

Disasters : journalist-free reporting? 2

Will mainstream journalists, who used to mediate between the public and government in disasters, be simply left out of the loop by social media?  In the twenty four hours during the peak of the flood crisis, Queensland police media had thirty nine million hits on their Facebook site. The public used their computers, laptops and smart phones to by-pass the conventional mass media and communicate directly with the authorities. In this year’s floods, Queensland local government and the state Police Service used Twitter and Facebook to disseminate flood warnings and information about local conditions. More…