This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Kind hearts?

So it would seem that the Deputy PCC of Herts has been forced to resign following her tweet about socialists. You can read the news story here.

Obviously I would not comment on what happened there since I do not know the full details. However, it does seem that sometimes people lose a degree of discretion and circumspection on some social media sites. That might even be an understatement!

We now have a growing list of people who by dint of trying to be funny, or who get caught up with a troll, or whose fingers work more quickly that the parts of their brains that govern etiquette, or whatever... end up 'saying' things they later come to regret. (And, by the way, I think we can all have these moments of 'madness', if we are not too careful.)

I have been hugely saddened but not surprised to read the 'humour' surrounding the incident involving Oscar Pistorius this morning which ranges from the misogynist to alluding to his amputated legs. The fact is that a woman has died in unexplained circumstances and a police investigation is under way. None of this is funny. For me (as an old romantic), the fact that this happened on Valentine's Day makes it all the more sad if we are to believe reports that the woman killed was the athlete's girlfriend.

Will those people making up the 'jokes' or retweeting them come to regret their actions? I wonder.

There has been already much written about social media and whether people should be trusted to use it 'officially' when incidents of indiscretion seem bound to occur. I think there are far more benefits to the use of social media than down sides. (As a blogger how could I not.) On this basis, may the growth of social media continue.

But it all comes back to ethics, discretion, circumspection and plain ordinary courtesy and respect. We just need to be mindful of those aspects when 'bleeting' on blogs and twitter.

OK, pompous rant over. Meanwhile back to the horse and bull....

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