Expanding the Department's Social Media Presence

June 5, 2012
Since 2009, the Justice Department has maintained a very active social media presence, operating accounts through such networks as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, in addition to regular posts on The Justice Blog.  As a part of the Open Government Plan version 2.0, the department noted that this presence has and will continue to expand as various components and offices begin participating in various social media platforms. Last week, our office and the Criminal Division joined the FBI, ATF, Civil Rights Division, Executive Office of Immigration Review, the department’s human resources office, as well as various individual U.S. Attorney offices on Twitter.  The micro-blogging platform allows for the rapid sharing of information to a wide network of interested parties.  The accounts for the various department components on Twitter are: Additionally for the last two years, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services has operated a Facebook page to:
“better connect and spread information to educate the public about a variety of criminal justice issues that affect the implementation of community policing and to spread the word about the many resources made available by the office to assist law enforcement practitioners in more effectively addressing crime and social disorder in their communities.”
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has also made unique use of the department’s YouTube channel, creating a specialized playlist of NIJ clips.  Later this year, NIJ will launch their own channel on the video sharing site, as well as joining Facebook and Twitter. It is important to remember that the availability and sharing of information is not only a vital part of the department’s open government efforts, but also can be an integral part of the FOIA process itself.  As agencies and offices continue to proactively disclose information online, it is important that the public be made aware of such releases.  Social media offers government offices an efficient way to notify the public of proactive disclosures.  Additionally, by utilizing social media, agencies can rapidly convey information to a broad audience, in a timely fashion, keeping with the FOIA’s goal of letting the public know what their government is doing. These are just a few examples of the department’s current and planned social media activities and you can read more about these efforts in the Open Government Plan version 2.0.

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Updated August 6, 2014