Thursday, 17 November 2011

Tweeting for tweet's sake?

I am relatively new to Twitter, but I must say that I am rapidly becoming addicted to it, and have noticed that, if I'm not careful, it can consume many minutes, if not hours, of my day. One thing I have been keeping an eye out for is the use of Twitter by forensic organisations or individuals for science communication, publication or other forensic-related banter. Today I have been alerted to Birmingham Police's FSI day, which can be followed by searching for @brumpolice or #fsi. There's also an article about it here. Now, firstly, let me say that I am a huge fan of science communication and getting more people interested in forensic science, and the idea of virtually following a real life CSI for a day is absolutely brilliant, and I wish I'd thought of it. But, I have some reservations...isn't constantly tweeting their latest movements going to distract the hard-working scientists from the task at hand? Is it not really dangerous (foolhardy even) to tweet exactly what you're doing and looking for at a live crime scene before you've had a chance to reflect on and analyse the evidence? Aren't you alerting potential criminals to your strengths and therefore weaknesses as investigators? Isn't there the chance for a defence lawyer worth his or her salt to get hold of your tweets and say 'you didn't tweet that you did this or that' and therefore you have been remiss? Are their tweets going to be admissable in court? I just think that they might have rushed into this idea for the publicity and outreach, and not thought very much about the potential consequences, that's all.

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