News

NYPD Issues Internal Order On Social Media Use

Order Comes Following Recent Racist Tweets From EMTs, 'Cannibal Cop' Case
A woman logs on to Twitter - File / Photo: SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

Twitter (file/credit: SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES

From our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.
Sign Up

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The New York Police Department is telling its officers to clean up their act on the Internet.

An internal order made public on Thursday advises members of the nation’s largest police department to “demonstrate professionalism” when using Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

It warns that sharing personal information and opinions has the potential to put them in danger and undermine their credibility.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has asked that officers not disclose their status as members of the department or post pictures of themselves in uniform.

From the gory emails of the so-called ‘cannibal cop‘ to racist Facebook posts from officers about the West Indian Day Parade, the NYPD has seen its share of online embarrassments.

“We believe these guidelines make sense and I think you’ll see people in unions have supported the order,” Kelly told reporters including WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

The internal order comes just days after two FDNY EMTs, including Commissioner Sal Cassano’s son, were caught sending racist and anti-Semitic tweets.

Former NYPD officer Gilberto Valle, dubbed the ‘cannibal cop,’ was found guilty on conspiracy charges earlier this month for allegedly using a police database to compile the names of women he purportedly plotted to kidnap, rape and eat.

“One of the issues in a complex business like this is people who say they’re part of an organization or this organization, make a statement that the public can interpret as policy,” Kelly said.

Some officers have already vented their frustrations about the policy online. One wrote that it was a violation of his First Amendment rights.

What do you think of the new policy? Sound off below…

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)