Friday, February 22, 2013

Facebook's No Substitute for House Calls

It's a cliche: The next of kin of people killed or injured in accidents, etc., are supposed to get the news from a police officer, hat in hand. "Bad news, Sir/Ma'am..."

This is a safe, simple job that ought to relieve some of the stress of being a police officer, but maybe some of them find it too painful? In Georgia, apparently, they've tried relying on Facebook.

Attention all police officers. A lot of people don't use Facebook and never will. Even if you happen to know our e-mail addresses, you cannot assume that people are going to recognize your screen name (or any officer's real name, necessarily) as the bearer of important news rather than a spammer or, when a message asks people to call the police, a public nuisance.