Denver police Twitter account riles up media with plagiarism question
It was a spirited debate, as well as one so unusual that at least one person initially thought the DPD account had been hacked.
"We certainly struck a nerve," says DPD chief of staff Lieutenant Matt Murray, who started the back-and-forth. "I'm curious as to why."
The exchange, which took place on Tuesday, kicked off with this:
PLAGIARISM: Want to know who REALLY provided the "NEWS"? http://t.co/6uSHLpZncj— Denver Police Dept (@DenverPolice) August 14, 2013
Plagtracker.com, by the way, touts itself as "the most accurate" plagiarism tracking service; it targets students, teachers, publishers and site owners.
Next came this invitation for responses....
SOCIAL MEDIA DEBATE: Is Plagiarism a problem on Social Media? Does it bother you when content is "re-tweeted" without sourcing?— Denver Police Dept (@DenverPolice) August 14, 2013
...supplemented by a specific call out to major news agencies:
The open-ended nature of the question caught some folks by surprise, including Derigan Silver, an assistant professor at the University of Denver specializing in media and Internet law. He wrote, "Has anyone called the Denver Police PIO to tell them @DenverPolice got hacked?"
To that, Murray responded, "DPD has not been 'hacked,' just asking a genuine question. Should social media be attributed?"
To that query, Jim Bates, a Post night editor, tweeted, "Of course & we do. A pure RT auto-attributes. New tweet attributes. Story quotes police as it always has."
Then there was 9News reporter Jeremy Jojola, who wrote, "I guess, in my opinion, it depends on the seriousness and type of report....but it is a double edge sword....social media is often a different monster, and offers a more casual setting for journos....journos should treat social media like they would a publication or broadcast. Attribution, in most cases, should be necessary."
The Twitter profile pic of 9News' Jeremy Jojola.
Other media types were curious about what sparked the chat, including Jon Stone, a 7News producer. He wrote, "This is a fun conversation and all, but is there something @7NewsNOW tweeted today that now has you bringing us into this???"
Also puzzled was Kelsey Fowler, a freelance contributor to the Post's music section and a recent intern for multiple outlets. Her tweet: "@DenverPolice having a very strange, passive aggressive 'discussion' about reporters and journalism right now. Hard to follow but very odd."
Continue for more about the Denver Police Department and Twitter, including more exchanges and photos, plus info about a police AMA on Reddit scheduled for tonight.