The school shooting in Parkland, Florida, sharpened the focus on the correlations between social media activity and carrying out an act of violence. If we pay attention, often some signals are right in front of us in plain sight on public social media posts, giving us the opportunity to be aware and prepare, but even more so, to intervene and prevent.
So we must ask ourselves: Are we doing enough to be drive awareness and avert a crisis from happening?
Multifaceted safety and security programs
A study by eSchoolSafety.org shows 45.6% of threats were delivered via public social media since the Parkland, FL shooting on February 14, 2018. Because communicating on social media is a common denominator to these events – and arguably a clear cry out for help – it is important to understand these communications platforms and have a finger on the pulse of such channels.
Not to be confused with monitoring or surveilling like municipalities may do, solutions like a social media threat alert service (SMTAS) bridge the awareness gap between schools and the instances of potential harm in social media. Keeping a digital eye out scanning social media is a vital part of today’s comprehensive safety strategy. Not only could it increase the chances of preventing an incident, but it could also serve as proof of precautionary effort. It is a layer of protection that is both supplementary to other measures, and necessary in today’s online-driven world.