Social network media and political activism: a growing challenge for law enforcement

Bell, Peter & Newnham, Jack (2012) Social network media and political activism: a growing challenge for law enforcement. Journal of Policing, Intelligence & Counter Terrorism, 7(1), pp. 36-50.

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The use of the internet for political purposes is not new; however, the introduction of social media tools has opened new avenues for political activists. In an era where social media has been credited as playing a critical role in the success of revolutions (Earl & Kimport, 2011; Papic & Noonan, 2011; Wooley, Limperos & 10 Beth, 2010), governments, law enforcement and intelligence agencies need to develop a deeper understanding of the broader capabilities of this emerging social and political environment. This can be achieved by increasing their online presence and through the application of proactive social media strategies to identify and manage potential threats. Analysis of current literature shows a gap 15 in the research regarding the connection between the theoretical understanding and practical implications of social media when exploited by political activists,and the efficacy of existing strategies designed to manage this growing challenge. This paper explores these issues by looking specifically at the use of three popular social media tools: Facebook; Twitter; and YouTube. Through the examination of 20 recent political protests in Iran, the UK and Egypt from 2009�2011, these case studies and research in the use of the three social media tools by political groups, the authors discuss inherent weaknesses in online political movements and discuss strategies for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to monitor these activities.

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ID Code: 50393
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: political activism, policing , intelligence, social media
DOI: 10.1080/18335330.2012.653194
ISSN: 1833-5330 print issn 2159-5364 online
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Police Administration Procedures and Practice (160205)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Taylor and Francis
Deposited On: 17 May 2012 02:08
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2013 14:47

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