Posted July 29, 2018 12:19:20 Police officers across Canada and the United States are being asked to monitor Twitter accounts suspected of violating the Twitter Act, as a new federal mandate for the police forces comes into effect.
A new mandate for policing departments was announced last week, in a bid to combat crime on social media.
The police service will have to monitor and enforce a tweet’s content, including posting the user’s name, date of birth, location, phone number, social media account and, if necessary, the user has the right to access that information, according to a release.
In a statement, Toronto Police Service Chief Mark Saunders said police were asked to do so by a federal law enforcement advisory committee in June.
“The new mandate is a necessary and proportionate response to the growing threat posed by terrorist groups and criminal activity on social networks,” Saunders said.
“We have a responsibility to maintain the public’s trust.”
A tweet from the RCMP can be deleted if the user posts their full name, but the tweet will be deleted regardless of whether the user is convicted of a crime.
Saunders said the new mandate, which will be implemented in phases starting next month, will require a police report to be submitted with every tweet.
It will also require officers to maintain an account on the Twitter website and to monitor that account.
Saunders added that the mandate would not affect the way the police service interacts with social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Police would still be able to use other tools to prevent and detect crimes and enforce laws.
If police are ordered to use the Twitter system, they will be asked to keep the account up to date.