BOSTON – The American Civil Liberties Union says a social media monitoring program used by the Boston police department appears to have had little benefit to public safety while unfairly focusing on groups such as Muslims.
The ACLU released a report Wednesday based on documents obtained through a public records request regarding the department’s use of the software, Geofeedia. The group says that among the posts swept up by the location-based software was a lawmaker’s Facebook update about racial inequality.
Boston police say the ACLU’s conclusions are misguided and that the program helped police successfully monitor events that could lead to demonstrations or crowds and threaten security.
The now-defunct program allowed officials to set up email alerts for when certain keywords were used on social media.