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Letter from the Editor: Abuse on PoliceOne’s Facebook Page

Dear PoliceOne Facebook Fans,

Some of you may have noticed the unfortunate increase in the number of inappropriate, anti-law enforcement comments posted to the PoliceOne Facebook page over the past week or so. We’ve received a number of emails from members concerned about this issue, and it’s one that is very much top-of-mind for us. Unfortunately, the solution is not as clear cut as it should be.

Facebook moderation is a distinct challenge both due to the sheer volume of comments on our page – 4,713 comments and wall posts just last week – as well as unfortunate limitations in Facebook’s tools for page moderation. Historically, we have kept an eye out for inappropriate comments with the expectation that discussions are going to be a little...looser and lighter than they are on PoliceOne.com, which is protected by our process of confirming the LE status of all members. Unfortunately, this is not an option on Facebook, which means that – for better and for worse – there is a significant contingent of non-LE fans within our PoliceOne Facebook community.

While we’ll accept a certain level of spirited back and forth between commenters, there are very clear lines that cannot be crossed, as many have in the past week. We have zero tolerance for any inappropriately confrontational or anti-LE comments. And of course there must be an added level of expedience and severity for anything demonstrating the slightest disrespect to fallen officers, which I’m sad to say we’ve also seen recently.

Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t currently provide us an easy way to immediately block the offending user – the explanation is convoluted, but it’s something that is bemoaned by many Fan page administrators, along with whom we’ve submitted a plea to Facebook to immediately improve this capability (search "blocking fans Facebook" on Google to get a sense for the frustration).

So while we are doing what we can on our end to remove offending individuals from our Fan page, we need your help. When you see an inappropriate comment:

  1. Flag the comment by clicking the Flag button next to the user’s comment. Facebook will thank you for providing feedback. To take it further, click on “Report” within the message. You’ll see a few options – select the most accurate one; in most cases, it will be “Contains hate speech or attacks an individual”.
  2. Block the user’s posts from appearing in your personal view. To do this, click on their username to go to their profile page. In the bottom left column (under their ‘Friends’ block), you’ll see a link to "Report/Block this Person." Click the link, select "Block this person," and Submit. You’ll never see their comments again.
  3. Contact us directly by email with A) the user’s name, and B) the post in which the offensive and inappropriate comment appears. We will quickly review and – if merited – submit a request to block the user permanently.

We appreciate your help and your patience, and we share your frustration over having to see comments like this in our community. Facebook is a great tool with a lot of benefits in sharing both content and opinions, but it also grants an ease of access that some choose to use in an abusive, unproductive and often cowardly fashion. Please trust that we are addressing the matter with utmost gravity in our aim to provide a forum that is, above all, constructive and supportive of law enforcers everywhere.


Jon Hughes
Vice President of Content


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