Police patrolman's beat: Break up Facebook fights

According to a U.K. police inspector, one patrol car is assigned to be driven from house to house to deal with people's complaints about things written on Facebook.

On the inspector's blog, here is one of the products on offer. Price around $13. Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Here is a job that many modern, ambitious police officers would surely adore: driving around to people's houses all day in order to listen to their complaints about Facebook.

No, these folks aren't up in arms about losing their privacy legs. They are upset at what others have posted about them.

Who cannot thank the Daily Mail for noting that one British police inspector revealed this rather modern form of policing?

On his Inspector Gadget blog, the unnamed policeman wrote that the "Facebook car" is what is officially known as the "Diary Car" or the "Pending Car."

He described its operation like this: "Neighborhood Constables have to drive from address to address all day, listening to endless tales of harassment on Facebook, threats by text and insults in the queue by the cigarette counter at the local Asda [supermarket]."

Some might find it refreshing that the Brits, known for their stiff-lipped valor under pressure, choose to call the police when they are maligned by the loose-lipped on Facebook.

Others might despair at the depths to which society is currently taking its trowel.

You might wonder who would be posting nasty things about these hurt, sad souls. Well, the inspector offers: "Almost all of this conflict is between vaguely related family groups, usually started over the genetic origin of whichever baby happens to be screaming in the buggy at the time."

The family, like privacy, seems to have become an outdated--or at least remolded--concept.

Still, do these people really believe that the police can make these family members withdraw their nasty words, appease them with a box of fine Cadbury's chocolates, or even post a large-lettered apology on Facebook?

The inspector is not an optimist: "What they all want is attention. Attention from each other, attention from us, attention from their housing officer, attention from anyone who can stave off the boredom of a life spent in confusion, childbirth, and conflict."

Wait, isn't attention the reason they went on Facebook in the first place?

 

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