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.

NPR

'The Wake' Is An Unlikely Hit In An Imaginary Language

Paul Kingsnorth self-published The Wake, his tale of the 11th-century Norman conquest of England, written in a pastiche of Old and modern English — and was startled when it became a smash hit.
NPR

Philly Preps Blessed Beer And Other Edible Swag To Greet Pope Francis

Enterprising businesses will mark the pope's visit to Philadelphia next month with irreverent tchotchkes — including beers brewed with holy water and toasters that etch the pontiff's face on bread.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - August 28, 2015

We chat with D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier about the city's strategy to combat the spike in violent crime taking place in the nation's capital.

NPR

New Tesla Breaks Consumer Reports' Ratings Scale, Bolsters Company's Stock

"It kind of broke the system," says Jake Fisher, director of the magazine's auto test division. Tesla's stock rose 8 percent Thursday.

Leave a Comment

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