California Law Regulates Police Social Media Posts

California Law Regulates Police Social Media Posts

On July 23, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom approved Assembly Bill 1475 which regulates the posting of booking photos on social media platforms by law enforcement agencies.

On January 1, 2022, California Penal Code Section 13665 became law. Here’s what you need to know as a public affairs officer or social media manager posting for a law enforcement agency.

Non Violent Crimes

If a person has been arrested for a non-violent crime, you can not post their booking photo on social media, unless:

  • They are a fugitive and posting the photo will assist in locating or apprehending the suspect
  • There is a threat to public safety and posting the photo will reduce or eliminate that threat
  • A judge orders it in furtherance of a legitimate law enforcement purpose
  • Exigent circumstances necessitate the dissemination for an urgent and legitimate law enforcement purpose.

If an agency posts the booking photo of an individual arrested for a non-violent crime on social media, they have 14 days to remove it if requested by the subject of the post or their representative.

“We recommend law enforcement social media managers and specialists meet with their department’s administration and public information officers to ensure they understand the parameters of this new law as well as establish a process for archiving and posting booking photos in the future.”

Tamrin Olden

CEO, TOC Public Relations

Violent Crimes

If a person has been arrested for a crime specified in California Penal Code Section 667.5(c) and their booking photo was posted on social media by a law enforcement agency, that agency is required to remove the post within 14 days after receiving a request by the subject of the post or their representative if the following can be proven:

  • The individual’s record has been sealed.
  • The conviction has been dismissed, expunged, pardoned, or eradicated pursuant to law.
  • The individual was issued a certificate of rehabilitation.
  • The individual was found not guilty of the crime for which they were arrested.
  • The individual was not charged with the crime, or the charges were dismissed.

The bill also requires law enforcement agencies to remove past booking photos of subjects who were ultimately found not guilty of a non-violent crime from their social media accounts.

Infographic for California Penal Code Section 13665

Have Questions?

Feel free to reach out to the team at TOC Public Relations if you need further information about this article.

References

Assembly Bill 1475
Penal Code Section 13665
Penal Code Section 667.5(c)

 

What Happened to IGTV?

What Happened to IGTV?

You might have noticed that IGTV can no longer be found on Instagram. In October 2021, Instagram released an update that merged IGTV with Instagram feed videos. Although this may not seem like that big of a change, it is! Instagram had explained its decision to pull out the IGTV button and said users were only finding IGTV content through the previews shared to the Feed and in Explore. This finding meant that IGTV was essentially leading to clutter and confusion rather than more engagement. 

Now that IGTV and Instagram feed videos have merged, you will see an additional icon next to the reels tab on your profile page. This icon is from the update and is now what we know as “Instagram Video.” Instagram Video has given us new features like trimming, filters, and people and location tagging as part of the updated upload experience. This will save creators a ton of time since they will no longer need to trim or add filters in an external app before posting to Instagram. 

You will still have access to a preview of your video available to be displayed on your feed. Regardless of how long your video is, you will be able to find it in the Instagram Video tab instead of the IGTV tab. From the video tab, viewers will be able to access all of your video content, whether you have a preview on your feed or not. Instagram reels will still have a separate tab remain on its own. All your IGTV videos posted before this update will be safe and available in the new Instagram Videos tab from now on. Instagram’s goal with these changes will be a more streamlined video experience. The Reels will continue to be separate from Instagram Video, so no need to worry about that changing as well.

Take advantage of videos and reels on Instagram. With all of these new updates and features, you can only imagine that Instagram will continue to grow as a video platform and be a large competitor against TikTok and Youtube’s YouTube Shorts. As Instagram keeps evolving and bringing new updates, your strategy should evolve and adapt as well. 

How to Garner a Targeted Audience on Social Media

The key to operating a successful social media account is to be intentional with everything.

We all want to grow our social audience, with not just a general audience but a targeted audience.

Because, what’s the point in operating a coffee roaster’s social media account and garnering followers who don’t even like coffee?

We, as professionals, can use so many social media tactics to maximize our engagement and build our list of followers who support our mission and business.

Here are the top four tips we’ve compiled to build an audience that will strengthen your engagement and lead to a sale or new client.  

Utilize tailored hashtags

Hashtags are so important on all social media platforms these days…yes, even on Facebook. 

If you want to grow a niche audience, one of the easiest ways to do so is to use a handful of targeted hashtags in your captions. 

Using the coffee roasters example again, search the most popular coffee-related hashtags in your search bar and use the top five, but only if the hashtags make sense to the content you are posting. Remember, be intentional. 

When you use those top hashtags, your content will be included in a feed featuring only coffee content where coffee enthusiasts will be skimming through. 

Follow similar accounts

Often, people are nervous about following similar social media accounts, but this is where you can grow your network and garner new ideas. 

Maybe the account isn’t exactly a competitor, but successful niche social media accounts are usually followed by people interested in that product, mission, or organization type. 

We tend to underestimate how often people follow the followers of their favorite social media accounts, so be intentional about who you follow and aim to only follow accounts similar to your brand.

Engage with other accounts

Spreading a little love in the form of a like and comment on accounts that you follow will be appreciated. The followers on the accounts you engage with will take notice of your interactions and likely click on your account to see what it’s all about.

Engaging in a meaningful way with other accounts is a great way to build genuine connections, leading to garnering more followers who support your brand. 

Optimize social media handle and bio

Utilizing a social media handle that is transparent in correlation to your business and services is so important on social media. Being as descriptive and succinct as possible with your handle could help you build that targeted audience you desire. 

If a person comes across your handle and it’s descriptive of your niche, the social media user will likely snoop around on your page and possibly give you a follow. 

When it comes to the bio on the social media accounts you manage, it’s imperative to be as descriptive as possible in a concise way, never leaving new visitors to your accounts confused about the services your brand offers. 

Our team at TOC PR is confident that by implementing some of these tactics into your social media strategy, you will begin to build a targeted audience for your brand in no time.

Protecting Your Mental Health

Social media is a great way to showcase your creativity and connect with different types of communities from all over the world. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok can inspire your creativity and push you to try new things or go places you have never even heard of. However, with all the hours we spend scrolling on our phones through all the different social media platforms, we might start to see our mental health decline.

It’s always entertaining to look through all the photos, videos, stories, reels, and everything in between, but it doesn’t always leave you feeling great afterward. Everyone experiences this, so know you are never alone.

Here at TOC PR, we thrive on creating content that stands out and showcases who we are. To do this, we are constantly scrolling and trying to find the next big social media trend and develop ways to utilize them and apply them to our work. It can still get a little overwhelming and discouraging at times trying to keep up, which is why knowing when to unplug for your mental health is crucial. 

Here are five tips we utilize to limit our screen time and promote mental wellness.

Create work-life boundaries and only allow yourself a certain amount of time per day on social media. As soon as you wake up, try to create a schedule for your day and include a couple of fifteen to thirty-minute breaks between tasks where you can scroll through social media if you choose.

Find time to digitally detox. If this means setting a timer, do it! It’s so easy to get distracted on social media, which is why your two-minute break can sometimes turn into an hour break. Setting a timer can help you stay on task and not get stuck scrolling for longer than you anticipated. 

Avoid comparing yourself and start unfollowing the accounts that don’t make you feel good. Pay more attention to how you feel after viewing certain accounts and posts and recognize the negative thoughts or feelings associated with them. You can easily avoid feeling that way again by simply unfollowing or blocking them.

Take advantage of mental health apps. There are so many different apps out right now that can help improve your mood, learn and practice meditation, provide therapy or advice, and so much more. Some examples of these apps are Moodkit, Talkspace, Headspace, and Happify.

Go outside to take breaks! A little fresh air never hurt anyone. Spending time outdoors can help you decompress and significantly reduce your symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Put your mental health first! Take advantage of the things you can do that benefit your well-being. It’s genuinely all about defining the boundaries you require, scheduling your time between work and life, and then actually committing to making those changes yourself to benefit your mind and schedule. Find what works for you and stick to it consistently. Your mental health will thank you.