Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Use of Social Media in Policing

  • Sean P. VaranoEmail author
  • Ryan Sarasin
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_387


Social media has in many ways altered the landscape of communication and information sharing in recent years. Nearly 750 million people across the globe are estimated to have accessed Facebook by August 2011, or nearly one-tenth of the world’s population (Facebook 2012). Its impact has been felt across the social landscape, from basic interpersonal communications to shaping the short-term and long-term socio-political future of some countries. It has been argued, for example, that it played a central role in the toppling of tyrannical governments during the “Arab Spring” of 2011 (Howard and Hussain 2011). With the breadth and depth of this impact in mind, law enforcement agencies have begun to adopt social media strategies in an effort to expand the scope of their communication strategies. It is estimated that by September 2011, approximately 88 % of law enforcement agencies across the United States had adopted some form of social media strategy (International Association of...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Justice StudiesRoger Williams UniversityBristolUSA