According to this article on the BBC, social media crimes are at least half of all frontline Police work. Here’s the first two paragraphs.
Complaints originating from social media make up “at least half” of a front-line police officer’s work, a senior officer has told the BBC.
Chief Constable Alex Marshall, head of the College of Policing, said the number of crimes arising from social media represented “a real problem”.
I’m not against reporting these crimes to the Police in any way, but I do think that this is a rather large load on the Police.
As a programmer, who has worked in data analysis for many years and as I feel I understand the Internet very well, I do not feel it is beyond the wit of programmers and companies to create a robust and trusted Internet-based system to deal with all the annoyances of the modern age.
Obviously, you could still go to the Police directly, but if say forwarding an offensive message to a semi-automated system had a sensible outcome, you might find this less trouble.
There are very few things that because of my physical and mental make-up that can be said to me as abuse. Although, I do get fed-up with some spam messages that seem to come to me every day. But I can understand how some people get offended and need their tormentors stopped.
I believe that a well-programmed system could handle much of the abuse and unwanted messages we get. If it became trusted and the sanctions it had taken against persistent nuisances were respected, people would think twice before sending offensive messages.
It might even stop crime and disrupt terrorist networks. As I write this, it has been said on the BBC, that you can follow what is going on with ISIS in Iraq through Twitter.
But then politicians don’t understand the power of technology and especially don’t like being bypassed by it. So we are more likely to see draconian laws on social media.
They’ve just had the Reverend Jane Twitty 0n BBC Breakfast.
Does she use Twitter?
We have had a lot of stories in the past few years about people being abused on Twitter and similar sites, such as this report about Stan Collimore.
I have been involved in a few studies about malicious calls in the past with BT and have a small amount of knowledge. For instance, those that abuse usually target someone specific like an ex partner or employer or they might do the opposite and tend to target a range of people.
But there is always a pattern, as people are creatures of habit!
I also did some work years ago with project management software to see, if it were possible to fill in the blanks on an activity, based on other activities in a project and the words in the description. Techniques of language recognition, weren’t that good in the 1980s, but I believe that it is now possible to make a better fist of it.
Twitter messages are a string of a few words and I believe that computers can now get the flavour of what is said with a bit of help. After all Google often gives you what you want in a search, that is full of spelling and typing mistakes.
So let’s say you get an abusive Twitter message. By flagging it to Twitter, they should be able to automatically determine if the contents fits a typical abusive pattern, based on the words and the tweeting profile of the sender.
An automatic warning would then ensue if it was deemed necessary, followed by deletion of the account, if the abuser persisted.
I obviously don’t know the thoughts of Twitter, but I’m absolutely certain, that an automatic system could be developed based on technology that works well in other areas.
The trouble is, any system like this is against the American rules on Free Speech. But it probably would be acceptable to many of those who have suffered abuse.
According to this article in the Daily Mail, an analysis of Twitter messages from rail passengers has shown that South West Trains are the least popular train company.
I took the company yesterday to Portsmouth Harbour in order to go to the Isle of Wight and I have no complaint about them, except that for First Clash passengers, they are the meanest. On a similar length journey to Ipswich, I may not get many perks, but at least I can get a free bottle of water or a coffee.
I know it’s not much, but it’s the thought that counts.
I wouldn’t choose the company, if there was an alternative, except that Waterloo is a better station for me than say Victoria.
Perhaps though companies should take more notice of what is said on sites like Twitter!
I don’t actively use Twitter, although I do post things occasionally, but I never look at what people say and don’t follow anyone.
I whole-heartedly condemn those who abuse others on the site or in fact any other site. As Mary Beard, someone who has suffered lots of abuse and threats, has just said on television, I think that abusers should face the full force of the law.
In some ways, Twitter abuse, is part of a larger problem in Internet usage. It seems that immediately some people pick up a phone or get to a keyboard, they feel they must send something inappropriate. But these people wouldn’t generally walk into their neighbour’s house and call them something unpleasant or say show a beautiful picture to someone who was obviously blind!
And it’s not just in personal life, that this happens. I get plagued by unwanted e-mails, trying to sell me a car leasing deal, from companies all over the country. I don’t particularly care and always unsubscribe, but the same companies keep sending them. If I was a driver, I certainly wouldn’t buy anything from any of them.
There is an old maxim about treating people, how you would like to be treated yourself. It would appear that this goes out the window, where the Internet is concerned.
If you abuse a dog, you can be banned by the Courts, from keeping one. Perhaps, people who don’t use the Internet courteously should be banned from having a mobile phone and denied a broadband connection.
I have never abused anybody knowingly on Twitter and I condemn the abusers unconditionally. Although on the other hand some of the things I’ve said, might have provoked a rabid response from certain classes of bigots. I have removed the odd message saying what I said was rubbish, but there has been nothing I have not found honest comment.
I will defend some men in particular, by saying that there are quite a few good men out there, who know how to treat a woman properly. I hope I do, as I did manage to keep my half of a relationship going for over forty years.
It’s not difficult! You just need a bit of give and take!
You can read what you like into this story about Ed Balls handling of Twitter.
I would just ask one question. Would you like to see this politician in charge of the economy?
This cautionary tale of an MP, who tweeted a link to a porn site by mistake, should be read by anybody, who just retweets, stories, that they are told to.
At least, as I do all my blogging from my computer, I can check what I point to, before publishing.
Wonga have apologised to Stella Creasy, after one of their employees abused her on Twitter. It’s all here in the Guardian.
I’m always suspicious of Wonga, as I think they’re very slippery. So was the twibel, as they’re now called, a means to get more publicity? After all, they must have known that Stella Creasy wouldn’t be amused.
Roman Abramovitch has sacked another manager at Chelsea. What a way to run a football club? Especially, as it seems to be generally accepted that stability in football leads to success.
I suppose the only winner is Roberto di Matteo, as he’ll probably be well paid.
But it doesn’t alter the fact that Chelsea are rapidly becoming a joke in the mind of many!
Some of the statements on the BBC’s web site get straight to the point.
Colin Bundred has said “How is it possible to be Champions of Europe and the joke of the football world at the same time? Sad really.”
And then Post and In give it the treatment.
I wonder if Roman Abramovitch is going to sue everybody who is criticising him on Twitter. If he is, every lawyer in the UK, will be rubbing their hands. I suspect the Americans will lend us a few lawyers if we need help.