It seems like GeoFeedia is not the only company that provides information to local police departments by utilizing social media. After finding out that GeoFeedia was marketing their data top social media companies immediately cut ties. Twitter shut off GeoFeedia’s commercial access after finding out from ACLU that Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram data were actually being mined by GeoFeedia and provided to police in an effort to keep an eye out got activists and protests.
As for Facebook and Instagram, they also severed ties with GeoFeedia recently and the reason is the same.
However, there are some social media companies that see GeoFeedia as an opportunity to market their services to police departments, for instance telling the police how they could track the actions of Black Lives Matter protests via hashtags. As per the results of an investigation last December 2015 by the ACLU Media Sonar, another social media company was found to have a website that is said to be a powerful tool for assessing threats and marketed their services to Fresno Police. To be exact, Media Sonar tipped the police on the hashtags #blacklivesmatter, #imunarmed and #dontshoot. The unnamed co-founder of Media Sonar had this to say “help identify illegal activity and threats to public safety.”
People will now have to be extra careful with what they post and what social media website they choose to trust, it is best to identify first if the website markets itself to police. There are a few other companies who follow the same steps as Media Sonar like Beware, Intrado, and Digital Stakeout.