Monday March 5, 2007

Miami-Dade PD's new MySpace page

MDPD myspace page

Miami-Dade PD’s new MySpace page. Via Rick, who perfectly sums up how stupid this is.

Update: OK, so the rationale is that if parents allow their kids to use MySpace on the condition that they add MDPD as a friend, it might give predators pause. Maybe that makes sense?

Update: Actually, no, it doesn’t. This is completely ridiculous. Heck, it looks like something somebody did as a joke! Pimp-my-profile? Really??

And the more I think about it, the more I suspect that in practice this will be used to bust kids for inappropriate activity revealed by their MS pages much more often then it’ll nab a predator.

I have no idea how much money was spent on this page, but if you think they just had someone whip it up in an afternoon think again. I have a MySpace, and you don’t get all that over-the-top crap happening in an afternoon. This is serious business: they obviously either hired someone who knew how to use MySpace, or trained someone, and the page is part of that person’s permanent job (updating the page, adding friends, reading messages, etc.). A consultant was probably hired. Meetings of top-level staff. A PR campaign. Remember — this is the government at work.

I recognize that the police needs to deal with MySpace, and the internet generally. But this is just security theater. And bad theater at that.

(And look what I just noticed: The MDPD’s regular web page is completely down and/or broken right now — it redirects to a Miami-Dade County error message! Maybe they phased out the regular department’s website because MySpace is the future?)

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  1. MiamianLawStudent    Mon Mar 5, 06:26 PM #  

    It’s certainly stupid to think it’ll keep predators at bay, BUT what’s the real harm? What’s it cost the MDPD? Is there any reason why the MDPD shouldn’t have a MySpace page?

    The publicity for the department can only help, right?



  2. NicFitKid    Mon Mar 5, 10:17 PM #  

    So if I add them as a friend, will they not beat me up? You know, since I’m unabashedly anti-cop and all.



  3. cynical comment by CM    Mon Mar 5, 10:46 PM #  

    I disagree that it’s “stupid.” That comment comes off as very cynical from a number of socio- and even cultural degrees. If anything, police and community should have greater (or just SOME) public discourse.



  4. NicFitKid    Mon Mar 5, 11:53 PM #  

    Well thanks to Alesh’s cynical post, I had discourse with MDPD via their MySpace comments. I asked them not to beat me up, and not to tase me. See? The greater good was served after all. Now if only Miami PD would start one of these…



  5. alesh    Tue Mar 6, 01:21 PM #  

    MLS~ I added a bunch to the article that I hope answers your questions.

    Cynical~ Please explain to me how the MySpace page constitutes “public discourse.” I could use a good laugh.



  6. Tila Tequila    Tue Mar 6, 11:35 PM #  

    Myspace is great! This is how I started my rise to fame!



  7. alesh    Wed Mar 7, 12:03 AM #  

    Yes, M. And so did Lily Allen. Which I guess proves that MDPD is in good company.

    Or not.



  8. Manola Blablablanik    Wed Mar 7, 12:25 AM #  

    I was dripping with facetiousness … although that bald eagle is HOT!!!

    Seriously, that site is commiting some major design crimes. How many years do you get for dimmed text frames on a complex background?



  9. alesh    Thu Mar 8, 08:21 AM #  

    Check out NBC6 video on the page when it had only Tom as a friend.

    Hank Tester WAS able to find a total of THREE (count ‘em) high schoolers who were willing to say that this is a good idea on camera, but his critical thinking skills failed him. There he is crouched over a 1986-era monitor in the newsroom, comparing a MDPD-badge in your friends list to having a burglar alarm on your house.

    Sure, Hank. It’s kind of like a burglar alarm if the alarm didn’t do anything, and the burglars knew it wouldn’t do anything. That’s a heck of an alarm.

    Manola~ You know, MDPD has to prove they can “hang.” I’m sure kids will be so impressed by the pimped-out page and the scrolling marquee that they won’t be able to RESIST adding MDPD as a friend. Look — all it took was a media blitz, and they have 585 friends!

    NOTE: 59,000 kids under 18 in Miami-Dade as of 2005, so that means 1% down, 99% to go.