Facebook changes concern police and government agencies

A change to the social media platform’s algorithm may lead to residents not seeing posts from local PDs


By PoliceOne Staff

MENLO PARK, Calif. — A recent change to Facebook has police and government agencies concerned about public safety.

KGO reports that a change to the social media platform’s algorithm may lead to residents not seeing posts from cities and counties. Earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social media site would change its algorithm so users will see more posts from family and friends and less from businesses and media.

Government agencies, which includes law enforcement, are categorized as private business.

"We saw just today in Lexington Kentucky a police agency out there had posted on their Facebook page they were looking for a missing at-risk teenager. Facebook removed the content because they say it didn't meet their community standards so they've already changed this algorithm," said Katie Nelson, the Public Relations and Social Media Manager for the Mountain View Police Department.

City officials in Palo Alto said they may have to rely on other platforms such as Twitter and NextDoor. Nelson said she would like to reach out to Facebook and “have an open honest dialogue” about how the algorithm changes impacts local government and first responders.

In a statement, Facebook said that they “are always working to make sure people can get local information on Facebook during an emergency, and are committed to aiding local organizations and providing them tools and trainings to get the word out to their communities.”

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