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Would an agency frown upon my gun pics on Facebook?

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  • Would an agency frown upon my gun pics on Facebook?

    Title pretty much says it all. I actually started my Facebook account a week ago. There isn't much on it except a few law enforcement related events and a picture of my Glock 22. My profile pic is of a Glock and a Bible. I live in a rather gun friendly state and area and I'm not concerned about people thinking that I support gun rights. What I am slightly concerned about is giving the impression that I'm a gun nut.

    ​​​​​​Also, I'm a bit of an arguer online and like to go on anti cop pages and engage with the people there. I'm never crude but I can get a bit snarky at times and was wondering if that might reflect poorly.

  • #2
    I wouldn't take the chance with the gun pics... I definitely could hurt
    NYPD Exam 2302 (July, 2011) - 9x.xxx
    List number (December, 2011) - 2xx
    APD -???

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Maccabee2A View Post
      Title pretty much says it all. I actually started my Facebook account a week ago. There isn't much on it except a few law enforcement related events and a picture of my Glock 22. My profile pic is of a Glock and a Bible. I live in a rather gun friendly state and area and I'm not concerned about people thinking that I support gun rights. What I am slightly concerned about is giving the impression that I'm a gun nut.

      ​​​​​​Also, I'm a bit of an arguer online and like to go on anti cop pages and engage with the people there. I'm never crude but I can get a bit snarky at times and was wondering if that might reflect poorly.
      Maccabee2A, If you’re asking as a future law enforcement applicant, I strongly suggest you sanitize your social media presence.

      Having supervised background investigations, IMO social media can do you more harm than good.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BTDT2 View Post

        Maccabee2A, If you’re asking as a future law enforcement applicant, I strongly suggest you sanitize your social media presence.

        Having supervised background investigations, IMO social media can do you more harm than good.
        How do I sanitize? Should I get rid of my gun pics?

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        • #5
          Why don’t you just stop posting on social media? It’s not that difficult......

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          • #6
            I'd consider getting rid of social media altogether or at least ones like Facebook, which tend to cause more harm than good. Officer.com forums are alright naturally.

            If you have any concerns if something is questionable or not, I'd go with assuming it is, and take it down.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Maccabee2A View Post
              Title pretty much says it all. I actually started my Facebook account a week ago. There isn't much on it except a few law enforcement related events and a picture of my Glock 22. My profile pic is of a Glock and a Bible. I live in a rather gun friendly state and area and I'm not concerned about people thinking that I support gun rights. What I am slightly concerned about is giving the impression that I'm a gun nut.

              ​​​​​​Also, I'm a bit of an arguer online and like to go on anti cop pages and engage with the people there. I'm never crude but I can get a bit snarky at times and was wondering if that might reflect poorly.
              So you created a Facebook account only a week ago and already added some gun pics...and NOW you're asking if it might look bad? I assume you already knew that you wanted to be a LEO a week ago...so wouldn't it have made more sense to ask this question PRIOR to setting up the account? Act on impulse and ask questions later isn't a good trait for a future LEO...

              To answer your questions: Yes, it could hurt your chances. I'd recommend removing those pics and shutting down your Facebook account. As others have said, social media does more harm than good...in general and for (future) LEOs in particular. Again, NOW is definitely not the time to create an online presence.

              As far as hanging out and arguing on anti cop sites...why would you even WANT to? I suggest you find a better use of your time...

              Lastly, guns are a TOOL for LEOs. They are not an object of worship or a part of our identity.

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              • #8
                Won't help, may hurt; you make the call.

                A social media review is a mandatory part of backgrounds for our agency, and most others. Having a presence that indicates an argumentative nature also could be problematic.

                I won't go so far as to say to remove yourself from social media, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to sanitize it.

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                • #9
                  Too late. It's on the internet forever...

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                  • #10
                    Society expects to enforce the law impartially, without fear or favor. We are expected to keep politics out of the mix and because there is a separation of church and state, we are expected to enforce the people’s law and not God’s law. For that reason, it is incumbent upon us to refrain from projecting any image that could call our credibility or lack of bias into question. I say this because we live in a society where some members of the public will latch onto anything we do or say in an attempt to attack our credibility or lack of bias.

                    Were you to get into a serious use of force incident, attorneys and anti-police groups would run to the media alleging the presence of a firearm and bible on your webpage combined with your seeking out and arguing on anti-cop sites indicates actions were that of a rogue cop gun nut who went hunting to impose God’s vengeance rather than reasonably enforce the law. Because such a story sells papers, the media would run with it. It wouldn’t matter that the story is not true. If you repeat a lie long enough, it becomes true in the minds of the public. You and your agency would be painted with the tar brush and your credibility in the eyes of the public would be gone.

                    I’ve been retired for 14 years and I still don’t have a Facebook page. You need to take yours down completely.
                    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                    • #11
                      Personally, I think its idiotic to post pictures of firearms you own on social media. Exercise some opsec. Whether you're in law enforcement or not.

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