The Mumbai police, in a unique initiative to understand citizens and connect with the youth, has started a social media laboratory.
The lab, which has been started in association with Reliance Foundation and NASSCOM, will see police officers active on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and others. A team of 20 specially trained officers will operate the lab.
Police commissioner Dr Satyapal Singh, however, made it very clear that the initiative would not interfere in any manner with the privacy of people active on social networking sites.
“This step is not going to affect people’s privacy. Through this medium, we are trying to understand the mindset of people which will help in better policing,” Singh said. The initiative has been chalked out seeing the rise in popularity of social networking sites among city youth.
Actor Abhishek Bachchan joined as a guest for the inauguration of the Social Media Lab. Abhishek, who is active on Twitter along with his father, Amitabh Bachchan, said, “The Mumbai police are trying to connect with the masses through this and we should support them. Social networking sites are a platform for people to write their views and the police are not going to interfere with that.”
“There are 1.2 crore tweets on Twitter from Mumbai alone. It’s not possible for us to follow everybody. But, if we will find objectionable comments on the site then we will inform the cyber cell of the Mumbai police to look into it,” Singh said.
The lab will also be keeping tabs on terror groups which at times post their messages on social networking sites. Singh had also started a cyber lab when he was joint commissioner of police, crime in 2003 which was the first such lab in the country.