Mayor Gray Defends Twitter Restrictions | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Mayor Gray Defends Twitter Restrictions

Play associated audio
The Twitter feed for D.C. Fire and EMS is active again Thursday after a directive from Mayor Gray's office silenced it almost a month ago.
Twitter
The Twitter feed for D.C. Fire and EMS is active again Thursday after a directive from Mayor Gray's office silenced it almost a month ago.

There were a couple of heated exchanges at Wednesday's mayoral press conference, as reporters pressed D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray to explain why two key sources of information -- the police scanner and the fire department's Twitter feeds -- have effectively been silenced.

For decades, media organizations have relied on police scanners for breaking news, but as WAMU first reported, the police department has decided to "encrypt" its radio communications. As for the fire department's Twitter feed, which until a month ago, had been a reliable source of real-time information, officials first said the officer in charge of the account was on vacation, but later added they were changing their Twitter policy and all "tweets" would be filtered before going out.

Update: The D.C. Fire and EMS Twitter officially went back online Thursday afternoon.

Paul Quander, the deputy mayor for public safety, says the changes were made for security reasons.

"There has to be a balancing act," Quander says. "The world is changing on us, I don't want to have to explain why certain info got out and officers or citizens were injured."

Part of the problem is technology. It's now easy for anyone with a smartphone, including criminals, to download an app that broadcasts police radio communications, and officials are still trying to grapple with Twitter and other social media.

They say the fire department's new Twitter feed will be up soon.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 30

An artist plays with symbols in a series of paintings. Art sheds light on Palestine and its people in an upcoming festival.
NPR

Millennial Jews Do An About-Face, Start Keeping Kosher

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center study, nearly a fourth of millennial Jews are keeping kosher. That's almost twice the rate of their baby boomer parents.
NPR

Napolitano: ISIS Was One Of Many Similar Threats We Were Tracking

The former Homeland Security secretary and Arizona governor also talks about security improvements since the Sept. 11 attacks, and the frustrations and potential solutions to the immigration debate.
NPR

Kids And Screen Time: Cutting Through The Static

One Los Angeles school is working technology into the learning process while avoiding traditional screen-time pitfalls.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.