Twitter -- the world-shaking social media platform that toppled an Egyptian government and organized social causes from Trayvon Martin to gay marriage -- is great for public shaming. Boyfriend cheats, blast his ass with 140-characters. Bad service at a hot spot? Spill to the Twitterverse. One LA restaurant is now even broadcasting the names of skipped reservations. It's like the 21st Century version of a town-square pillory -- everyone point and laugh at the offender.
Starting today, the Boynton Beach Police Department is hoping to slow drivers down in school zones with Twitter shame.
This morning, the department's account will be live-tweeting the patrol of an undisclosed area.
According to Stephanie Slater, the department's public information officer, the idea came about after the BBPD fielded an uptick in complaints on its Facebook page about traffic zipping by schools. The department has been web savvy since the MySpace era, and today they run an active Twitter account. The BBPD bosses are "very supportive" of social media, Slater says. "It allows us to engage the community."
The plan is for Slater to camp out with an officer as a school zone throughout the day. If someone gets pinched barreling through, the account will shoot out photos of the radar gun or of the offending vehicle. Slater says they'll be careful to not broadcast any information that will ID drivers. "We're not looking to do this to violate anyone's rights or to embarrass anyone," she says. "This is just to educate."
Slater won't say where she'll be stationed, only that it's an elementary school. The location may change in the future, depending on how the effort goes today.
Update: Boynton Beach PD wants to make it clear it's not shaming speeders, but "educating" them.