Roundup of Law and Order on Social Media Periscope, Twitter – the tech is smarter, the criminals not

[quote name=””]“If I didn’t think I would get in trouble with the law, n—- I would Periscope everything”[/quote]

If you were a criminal hunting for someone who may have been with your girlfriend (or your friend’s girlfriend, it’s unclear), would you video yourselves for an hour, with voice-over narration? 2 men did in Sacramento. Not only did they video themselves on Periscope firing a gun from a moving car, they lurk outside their supposed quarry’s apartment, smoke marijuana and display pot plants. At no stage do they cover their faces. For an hour on the live streaming app Periscope, they get hearts and gun-shaped emoticons from their followers. Luckily, nobody answered the door to these guys. Somehow, it took a day for anyone to alert the police but then both were, not surprisingly, arrested. One was charged with a weapons violation and possession of a cultivated substance while armed. The other was picked up for alleged negligent discharge of a firearm and possession of a loaded gun in public.


[quote name=””]“We’re looking to use [Periscope] for many, many avenues. And we’re just learning. …..So, we thought, let’s see how it goes.”- Fargo Police Department spokesperson Jessica Schindeldecker.[/quote]


Police in Fargo, North Dakota have started livestreaming traffic stops using Periscope in an experiment with social media. “We know that it’s live broadcasting, and once it’s out there, it’s out there. So we are going to be very sensitive about that and how we use it,” says Fargo officer Jessica Schindeldecker. However, licence plates could be seen in the broadcast, leading some people to say this is about shaming, rather than public safety. The very first broadcast had to be stopped because the driver was asked to get out of the vehicle. So far the whole experiment seems a mess. Not surprising as it looks like the Fargo police received no training on using the live streaming app. “We just learned about the app a couple of nights ago so we thought, ‘let’s just get our feet wet a little bit, try it out’,” Fargo Police Department spokesperson Jessica Schindeldecker told local news station KLVY.

[quote name=””]“We hope that it will work as a live surveillance camera in everybody’s pocket” – unnamed police officer told The Economic Times.[/quote]

india periscope

Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) police commissioner MN Reddi—a social media star in his own right with over 290,000 followers on Twitter—proposed that citizens should report and record crimes using Periscope. The idea is that Periscope will act like 911, with a special control room in place to review the footage and alert police if needed.

In Kenya, Chief Kariuki (Twitter @ChiefKariuki) is known as the chief who uses Twitter to fight crime in his village . One night his phone rang at 4am warning him that thieves were invading a school teacher’s house. He tweeted the message and within minutes, villagers had gathered outside the house, frightening the criminals away. Kariuki said that even the thieves in his village follow him on Twitter. Prime example – he tweeted about the theft of a cow, and later the cow was found abandoned, tied to a pole. Kariu has an amazing 52.5 K followers on Twitter.