Live tweeting false flags are bad - Online Police Scanner Audio and Social Media Under Scrutiny


Boston Police Scanner Live-Tweeting Complicates Manhunt For Second Suspected Marathon Bomber


Tweeting police scanner news "risky:" police

The bombings in Boston are shining a light on how amateur news hounds with the right social media tools can put the public and law enforcement officers in danger.

In the aftermath of the bombings, roughly 120,000 people turned to police scanner applications for the inside scoop on breaking news as it happened. However, many of those people also posted what they heard on social media sites like Twitter, Reddit and Facebook — and often, it was wrong.


Boston entered a lockdown state Friday and rumours about unexploded bombs circulated on social media. Boston entered a lockdown state Friday and rumours about unexploded bombs circulated on social media. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

"It's not just the traditional newscasts, where the TV station produces the news and people watch it at home," says Patrick Feng, a University of Calgary media professior. "You have people who can really contribute to the story and that also leads to this issue of a lack of gatekeepers."

With the demand for immediate information in emergencies, police scanners and social media filled a gap and can provide a way for people to feel more informed.

At the same time, it can also lead to social media users endangering officers and bystanders by sharing unverified information.

Dozens of apps available

It's not only large scale emergencies that see people listening in to scanners.

With dozens of scanner apps from around the world listed in the iTunes store, news consumers can listen in on police activity around the world at any time.


Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Uncle: Mentors ‘radicalized’ older Boston bombing suspect - were "puppets and executors" of a scheme designed by others.

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Comment by Sweettina2 on April 22, 2013 at 10:33pm

Here we go....I knew they'd get around to saying this.

Comment by James μολὼν λαβέ on April 22, 2013 at 10:37pm

I bet cop radio scanners will need registered if things keep up.

Comment by H●ȴȴɣwͼͽd on April 22, 2013 at 11:19pm

Send ol @TimSteno a tweety how ya feel :)

Comment by opt˟ on April 23, 2013 at 2:51am

For several days an unofficial manhunt was underway with thousands on online sleuths pouring over every available image of the race looking for suspicious characters. The feds themselves fed deliberate misinfo to various MSM outlets, implicating the wrong people like the two high school runners who were called “The Bag Men” by a New York paper and of course the now infamous Saudi national.

Contrary to what a new Washington Post article claims, these false leads didn’t come from the unofficial investigation but rather from “law enforcement insiders” tipping off the major publications like the Times and CNN. They were deliberately given false leads which left the papers with egg on their faces and the netizen investigators chasing down ghosts in blind allies.

Comment by Sweettina2 on April 23, 2013 at 5:17am

Dadgum it Hollywood....I was about to go to sleep, now I wanna go bust this guys chops.....


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