Are you talking to me?
How identity is constructed on police-owned Facebook sites
Police use of social media has increased in the United Kingdom since 2008 (Crump, 2011), yet there has been little qualitative exploration of how police-owned Facebook sites work to shape the identity of forces. This study explores the action orientation of small stories on the Facebook site of a UK metropolitan police force. The research considers the collaborative ways in which stories are positioned and constructed collectively by multiple narrators (both formal police posts, and the commenting public). Given the ability of social media to enact identity through interaction, this research explores how the identity of the police force is positioned, and repositioned, by social media activity. It concludes that both the opportunity for dyadic interactions that may underpin effective community policing, and the potential benefits of harnessing the opportunity for effective identity work, are currently being under utilised on police Facebook sites.
Keywords: identity, positioning, small-stories, police, Facebook, social media
Published online: 19 October 2018
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Cited by 2 other publications
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