Social media a tool for the community

Published 10:05 am Friday, August 8, 2014

News travels fast, especially online.

Even more so through social media websites like Twitter and Facebook.

Those sites have become a vehicle to disseminate information as trivial as what a user is having for lunch, or as important as getting the word out about a missing person.

Email newsletter signup

Several of Lawrence County’s government, fire and law enforcement agencies use Twitter and Facebook to keep the public aware of what is going on in the community. For example, the sheriff’s office has a page, which the agency used to share information about a missing Rome Township woman.

The Ironton Police Department also has one, as well as a neighborhood watch page that residents can use to report suspicious activity.

About a month ago, the South Point Police Department suspended activity on its page due to posts by residents village leaders deemed inappropriate. Since then, the mayor, council members and police personnel have worked to develop guidelines on what should and should not be posted on the page.

Facebook can be an invaluable tool for law enforcement, but the pages must be monitored by administrators. If some residents do not want to use the page for its intended purpose, they can and should be banned from posting.

But those few bad apples should not be allowed to spoil the bunch.

We hope the Village of South Point will return to posing helpful information to its residents soon. Certainly that is more important than a few unruly commenters, who could be easily removed if needed.

Likewise, we encourage other county agencies to get on board and share happenings via social media. It’s the easiest and fastest way to get the community communicating.