In the criminal justice system…twitter can be used?

October 12, 2009 at 12:23 am (Uncategorized)

Twittering seems to be intercepting everything in my life, including my all-time favorite TV show: Law and Order: SVU. However, this interception actually got me thinking about Twitter and the news.

Now, I knew Twitter was big in the journalism and entertainment fields, but I didn’t realize it had made its primetime TV debut until I sat down yesterday to watch Wednesday’s episode of SVU.

There was the usual plot on SVU: girl goes missing à neighbor accused of rape à boyfriend going insane.  However, this episode featured Twitter and it being used to track down a missing girl.

The episode featured the Twitter account: “Find Lily”. From it, those expert cops determined a timeline of events using information from posts of people who had seen Lily. Of course SVU solved the case, but would we expect any less?

The point of my Twitter-SVU reference is that the police used clues from Twitter, not from any news organization that had put her on the local nightly news. I realize this event is fictional, however it dawned on me that Twitter could be the new tip-line for the police. Instead of people calling CBS or NBC to report sighting of a missing child or facts about a robbery, people are twittering their information.

Thinking about it, Twitter seems to be a more effective way of getting information about cases. It’s easier than dialing the tip-line and speaking with someone or leaving a message, and it seems to give people the idea that it’s “more” anonymous.

Interesting to think how something that was made for social networking is now being used to share news and help find missing people…


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