Clemson Police Monitored Social Media for Threats During Georgia Tech Football Game

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John Bazemor/AP

The Clemson University Police analyzed thousands of social media posts during Thursday’s football game against Georgia Tech.

According to a local news report, the Clemson University police force monitored social media during an upcoming football game between Clemson and Georgia Tech.

The new monitoring program, which was devised, in part, by police chief Greg Mullen, will search social media for violent language. A team of student monitors scoured social media for words like “kill” or mentions of guns and weapons.

Andrew Pyle, Clemson’s Division of Public Safety Faculty Fellow, argues that the new strategy could potentially prevent an attack from taking place. “We have reached a point where people are tending to share everything online. So, for better or worse, if something’s happening, there’s probably something about it online,” Pyle said.

Mullen referenced recent studies that suggest that mass shooters frequently post warnings on social media. In many cases, shooters explicitly mention their violent plans on social media or in videos on platforms like YouTube.

“There’s a lot of evidence that demonstrates that people engage in mass casualty attacks, or other types of targeted violence, have either communicated or had activity over social media,” Mullen argued.

A team of 25 to 30 students analyzed social media networks on Thursday, the day of the football game. They worked directly with Pyle to detect potential threats, but no threats have yet been reported as having been located.

Breitbart News reported in 2016 that 500 American police departments use social media surveillance technology to gather information on locals.

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