Tag Archives: Social media

Where Do We Draw The Line Between A balanced Immigration Debate And Xenophobia?

United Kingdom: stamp

United Kingdom: stamp (Photo credit: Sem Paradeiro)

It has been interesting to watch how the debate on immigration in the United Kingdom has developed over the past few months.  It is fair to say that most of the headlines have been full of emotive language aimed at evoking a reaction from the public. There is no doubt that issues pertaining to immigration need to be discussed openly but one can not refute the fact that the language being used by some in the media is borderline xenophobic. Individuals who complain about this are often seen as disruptive and stifling honest debate on immigration. This has sent a message to some sections of society that it is perfectly fine to post racist and xenophobic comments on social media sites.

It is astounding that in the 21st Century  in a globalised world, with increasing economic intergration people still have unjustified fear of being swamped particularly in industrialised countries. A policy that was recently unveiled in some parts of London where vans with posters telling people who had allegedly over stayed in the United Kingdom to “GO HOME OR FACE ARREST”, was not well received by a good number of citizens particularly people of colour, who were born and raised in United Kingdom. This campaign was condemned by a number of public figures such as Yvette Cooper who referred to it as “divisive” and “a complete gimmick which should never have been approved by the Home Secretary“.

It is certainly true that divisive politics is at play and this is seen in the way immigrants are being blamed for the current economic woes. For some reason, the global economic crisis that affected a industrialised countries seems to have been forgotten. No one wants to admit that the real reason for the current economic problems are down to bad management and dishonest politics.

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Fighting Crime Using Social Media

facebook

facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

Technology has connected humans in ways that we never could have imagined over a decade ago. With the click of a button, we are now able to cast our feelings openly without discretion, sharing huge amounts of information regarding our daily lives. The ubiquity of social media is also being capitalised by individuals involved in criminal activities, who in most cases, tend to be astute and inventive in their ways of communicating with potential targets. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and many other online platforms are regularly used by criminals to post their exploits.

Law enforcement officers have woken up to the fact that they will have to be innovative in an evolving society and have now resorted to the use of social media by setting up fake profiles to befriend unsuspecting drug dealers who link up with their customers via twitter or facebook and disclose their locations using sites like Foursquare as a means of arranging for the pick up and distribution of their “stash”. Information that may not be easily obtained publicly can still be accessible despite the settings of a facebook account being private. Having account settings as private as possible does not mean information can not be hacked into especially if one happens to have friends who are not tech savvy.

In areas such as Ohio, Cinnicinati in the USA, law enforcement officers have adopted the strategy of setting up social networking profiles which are then used for information gathering. At least 10% of law enforcement officials surveyed by Lexis Nexis are said to have received training on how to use social media for investigations.

Social media updates provide a steady flow of information which gradually paints a picture of what a particular persons life looks like. While the use of evidence gathered from social media is still relatively small, we will see a huge change in years to come as technology continues to advance.

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