Motivations for police blogging and how fear of being 'outed' can force a blogger to cease

Sarah Pedersen, Simon Burnett, Robert Smith, Anne Neill

Abstract


There is an expanding literature on the police use of storytelling, but very little has been written in a policing context in relation to the contemporary practice of blogging. Consequentially, this paper reports on an ongoing research project into the UK police use of blogging. In dealing with motivations for starting and stopping the authoring of blogs this article makes an incremental contribution to the literatures of blogging and of police storytelling by articulating reasons given by respondents as to why they stopped blogging. These include fear of being outed; fear of professional loss of face and collateral damage to careers. We argue that blogging has educational and therapeutic values and should be encouraged by the Service for these reasons. An agreed code of practice could reduce the climate of fear.

Keywords


blogs; blogging; police; motivations; censorship;

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