Deltek Analyst Kristin Howe reports.
Over the last few years, social networking – particularly Facebook – has shifted from a forum for college students to keep in touch, to a worldwide community with participants of all ages. The capabilities of social media tools are seemingly endless as users are no longer limited to simply messaging each other. Many businesses and nonprofits now use these pages to let “friends” know about sales and to drum up business support. Numerous government entities use Facebook to promote events taking place around town. This often includes more than just updates on local concerts and festivals; information is also posted to help keep citizens safe.
One of the more recent Facebook trends is creating groups advertising sex offender registries. Interested parties can “like” the group to view the registry, or in cases like the Jackson County, Ala. Sheriff’s Office’s page, the list is openly available to all. The number of people concerned enough about sex offenders to actually find the registry through the use of a search engine or through scanning state websites is limited, and public safety departments fear this could leave many people unaware of sex offenders in their area. By putting the list on Facebook, sheriff offices and other public safety departments are hoping to leverage citizens’ need for quick results and community awareness while increasing registry viewership.
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