IAN HART: Power of Facebook on display

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

Facebook ‘celebrates’ its 12th birthday next week, and love it or loathe, the social networking site has become part and parcel of everyday life.

It’s an understatement to say that it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. I joined it, bizarrely to keep tabs on my then two teenage children.

It’s certainly grown on me – I find it both informative and part of the process of modern-day social interaction.

But above all else, you must not fall into the trap of taking it too seriously.

This week the power of Facebook in a positive form was there for all to see when Sussex Police released video footage of a horrific hit and run incident in Kemptown, Brighton, as well as to news organisations.

It was Harty Junior that initially brought my attention to the video on Tuesday morning.

He originally thought that its publication on Facebook was inappropriate.

That was probably more out of shock than anything else – the footage is preceded by a warning regarding the content of the graphic images.

But once he’d actually thought about it, he realised what an inspiring move it was by Sussex Police.

Could Mark Zuckerberg ever have thought, 12 years ago, that not only would Facebook have turned him into an extremely rich man, but that it’s reach would mean the police would actively use it to help with their investigations?

I would imagine, however much a good idea the move sounded, there would have almost certainly been detractors within the corridors of Sussex Police over the move.

Yet I’m struggling to think of something as constructive as this at spreading news across the local community at the speed it has?

But one thing’s for sure, if this results in a significant lead for police or someone coming forward, Facebook’s numerous critics will have to stay silent on this occasion.


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