Monday, 2 May 2016

Getting Verified on Twitter by Making a Case for some UK Police Officers who've earned the blue badge

If I'm to give anything to UK Social Policing from now on, it's going to be on the side of innovation and making things happen that have either not been done yet or do not technically exist..

This post will make an argument for more UK Police Officers to be verified at Twitter as I believe an imbalance exists for certain key UK Officers

From my understanding, it seems there are clear rules set down by the UK Police who qualify for and therefore display the familiar blue badge beside their name.

For example a UK Police Chief Constable, DCC, ACC, an official main force account and a Community Neighbourhood or Specialist Policing Team. Yet even some verified accounts are missed off (see the NPCC Chief Constable list).

From the NPCC Chief Officer list, that's even more sporadic. Thankfully, that's not the focus of this post - if it were, it would be a very simple logic route.. Are you a CC, DCC or ACC? If yes - get verified.. If no - take no action.

An example of a verified Community Neighbourhood is @Coventry_Police or a specialist team like Aviation Policing as @MPSHeathrow. There are many other accounts that follow this pattern.

Most will have a place name and the word police in the twitter username, but not all. One example is an account that appears to be an officer, but really is a Neighbourhood. Where it clearly says Insp Steve Bunn as the verified name, yet it's explained as a South Leics NPA account.

I believe the system of verifying UK Police twitter accounts to be outdated and should be reviewed. Twitter is a public social network and ultimately Twitter should decide who they feel is worthy of being verified.

From what I know (and it's very little), there seems there is an obvious working relationship between the UK Police and Twitter which may have been accelerated after the Aug 2011 riots. [please take a moment to under the red bell alert and text, In times of crisis, this account helps share critical information with Twitter Alerts on every profile.

From what I understand, the process is very simple - an account gets followed by @verified and maybe a few days later the blue badge appears as if by magic. Or and it's a big Or ... an official from the UK Police asks twitter, or even hands in a list of accounts and the magic happens that way.

This is all well an good for local UK force policing, maybe even nationally in the UK - but when an account is viewed globally, it's totally ridiculous and makes no sense (in some cases).

Before I get into specifics, let's take a moment to learn about the FAQs of verified accounts. from that link, here is a summary..

  • Verification is currently used to establish authenticity of identities of key individuals and brands on Twitter
  • Twitter verifies accounts on an ongoing basis to make it easier for users to find who they're looking for. 
  • We [twitter] concentrate on highly sought users in [many] .. key interest areas
  • We [twitter] are working within key interest areas to verify accounts that are sought after by other Twitter users
  • The verified badge will appear next to a user's name on their profile page. It will also appear next to a user’s name in searches for people on Twitter.
  • Do verified accounts have access to extra features? Yes, verified account holders have access to the following extra features (four listed bullet points)
  • If a Vine or Periscope account is linked to a verified Twitter account, the Vine or Periscope account will automatically be verified (**see below, as very important to one UK Officer and Force)

Specific UK Police Officer Examples
  • The College of Policing is verified (with 5.3k tweets and 23.7k followers) - yet Insp Michael Brown as @MentalHealthCop who is a Mental Health Coordinator at The College of Policing is not verified despite having made 74.4k tweets and having 29.4k followers. Insp Brown has won many awards including the Mark Hanson Digital Media Award and #SMILEcon 2014.
  • Superintendent of Operations at West Midlands Police Kerry Blakeman as @kerryblakeman is not verified despite having an international presence and being winner of an International Social Media Top Cop 2015 award. Supt Kerry is also the host of #WMPLive at facebook.
  • John Sutherland as @PoliceCommander has a healthy presence on twitter, always has some brilliant and often heartfelt words at twitter and his blog. Of course not verified. And whenever I look he's always in the press (standard).
  • Neil as @sgtTCS is another one not verified despite making 75.5k tweets and having 15.6k followers. You may remember it was sgtTCS who founded the #DontStreamAndDrive campaign (BBC News 31 March 2016 includes a video).
  • PC Mark Walsh from Hampshire Police also known as #VineCop has 2.16 million Vine Loops and has just returned from a successful #SMILEcon Conference in Alexandria, Virginia - He is not verified at twitter and therefore not verified at Vine either. PC Mark stopped by The Pentagon a few days ago in his UK Police uniform and hat. 
I will add to this list as we discover more valuable UK Police Officer accounts. To illustrate the point, the five examples maybe adequate at this stage.

The UK Police should learn from other Police Forces. In this case how the Toronto Police Service use a twitter banner naming nine officer who tweet for the TPS. Notice how some of the TPS Officers are verified (like Meaghan GrayScott Mills and Laurie McCann).

Another example is @TrooperBen@TrooperTodKHP and many other Troopers, Official account of the Kansas Highway Patrol PIO (Public Information Officer) - All verified accounts and although 4,421 miles away in person - social policing is just a click away.

One simple test, ask which UK Police Officers have a significant social presence or hop on a plane, ferry or EuroStar to other countries. And then ask if they are noteworthy and valuable enough as an export to be verified on Twitter.

Four Possible Solutions

  • UK Police take a speedy look into this issue and get it sorted.
  • Twitter take a speedy look into this issue and also get it sorted.
  • UK Police and Twitter together take a speedy look into this issue and get it sorted.
  • Nothing happens at all.

Declaration of Interest by Mike Downes - I would not be posting this issue today without having posted about Social Policing in the last five years. And as such having connected with many, but not all of the officers mentioned above. That does not mean I want all of them verified as I know them or even class a few of them as friends..

Thursday, 28 April 2016

West Midlands Police Live Video to facebook Episode Two

On Wednesday 27 April 2016, Episode Two was aired hosted by Supt Kerry Blakeman.

Episode One too place on Wed 9 March 2016, you can watch all eleven videos at this post.

Incredible how time flies - it was seven weeks, that's 49 days since the last one.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

About Mike Downes for April 2016 Onwards

Since the start of 2016, I've been working on a new format a called the Laptop show.

You can read about it at my University of Warwick Blog the Laptop show is a gift to all the children I have ever taught, now all grown up and part two called Elements of the Laptop show.

Where the slide on the left is really a part three where more or less by accident, I've made a pencil sketch of my last three year's videos, around 360 of them.

This has lead to a making a one style banner across all my online profiles. It's worth bearing in mind, people will find and watch my videos, in the past year, from a YouTube Search 50%, External Search 35% (including a Google Search 25%, Google+ 4%), Direct 5% and Other 10%. 

In the last month, my videos are watched mostly on the YouTube watch-page 96%. With Computer 73%, Mobile Phone 19% and Tablet 6% being devices. On Computer, Windows 84%, Mac 14%.

Included in that is a whiteboard that shows 2 April 1984 as the date -- this is always the date at the Laptop show. In Uni blog part three, I will talk about  how much has changed from a real life four walled classroom to the online experience where there are no four walls and all entry and exit points of learning are scattered around as intangible.

also cross posted to:

Saturday, 16 April 2016

UK Police Chief Constables on Twitter 16 April 16

Chief Olivia Pinkney Hants not shown (3,012 followers)
As I've followed the UK Police on Twitter over the last five years, I've known some Chief Constables are there too - but no idea how many and how active until now.

No real in depth research as such, just made a list, followed a list made by NPCC and tried to fill in the gaps (You may notice 29 members, and I've included just 26 - the three I have missed are Isle of Man, Sovereign Base Areas Police in Cyprus and St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha).

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

PC Alan Conran in his own words and Essex Police Officers on Twitter 4 Jan to 14 March 2016

This is a post was first published at: (edit 28 April 16, this website has now been archived, sorry about that - still exists, but as a private URL).

This is short post based on some public observations on Twitter followers for 113 Essex Police UK Officers on twitter.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

How to use a Zoom H1 Microphone on Auto Level

Recording good audio seems to be incredibly overlooked in this age of gadgets.

I have over ten microphones available to me, yet none as good as the Zoom H1.

All I wanted to demonstrate to myself - How to record an everyday task in clear audio and without that much fuss.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

West Midlands Police Live Video to facebook Episode One as #WMPLive with Supt Kerry Blakeman and Sc Lee Page

Kerry Blakeman has been engaging with the public he serves using live video broadcasts for five years.

In this latest example, Superintendent Kerry is using the new facebook live to deliver a set of ten broadcasts over the course of one evening (4.30 to 10pm, Wed 9 March 2016).

You can find all ten broadcasts at: facebook/wmp/videos or embedded in this post below.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Elements of the Laptop show

cross posted from:
In the previous blog post, I talked about the Laptop show as a concept. In this post, I'll be looking at the elements and how anyone can make a video series exactly the same as the Laptop show or on a topic of their choice.
Please define laptop as something that sits on your lap, or you can easily carry about with you.

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