Baltimore police update media release policy to cut down on social media posts

Baltimore police have changed their policy on media releases to cut down on the number of social media posts in response to complaints of clutter on the department’s Facebook page.

Spokeswoman Det. Nicole Monroe said Tuesday that the department will now use a single post per day on Facebook to inform the public about incidents and investigations in the city.

She said the change was in response to complaints that people would have to scroll through multiple posts to find information about an incident from that day.

While the change will reduce the number of posts, it also may affect the public’s ability to be notified about updates in investigations if they are not actively checking the department’s Facebook page.

Facebook currently allows for people to get notifications about new posts from a page — up to five per day — as well as notifications when someone comments on a post.

However, there’s no option to be notified when a post is updated — only when there’s a new comment underneath the post.

For example, police updated a post Tuesday afternoon that initially was about a nonfatal shooting on McKean Avenue with new information about three fatalities from separate incidents later that night.

But unless you were told apart from Facebook that police had updated the post — which police did not do on Twitter or on their media release list — or you were on that post refreshing the page, you would not be notified there is new information.

And the policy is specifically for crime reports, not other items, such as reported missing people or other information about the department.

Monroe said the change will centralize relevant information regarding daily crime reports.

pdavis@baltsun.com

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