Racy police blogger hit 'send' too soon

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 July, 2011, 12:00am


Think before you blog.

If there is one clear message from the saga of the online posting of photographs of Hong Kong policewomen clowning around, that is it.

While it is the correct response for a disciplined service, such as the police, to launch an internal investigation into the behaviour of its officers caught posing - in uniform - with weapons and fooling about in various stages of undress, it is hard to see the case as a major scandal.

Too often headlines are dominated by tales of poor morale in the police force and other disciplined services. By comparison, at least these high-spirited young ladies were displaying considerable esprit de corps as they let off steam from a stressful job.

We hope that once investigations are complete, their bosses simply don't throw the book at them, whatever the pressure of publicity.

Certainly firearms safety will need to be emphasised, along with the need to present the force in the best possible public light.

But the greatest crime here is one of naivety.

Too often people post personal pictures or information online only to regret it later. For some, the freedom of the web has a powerful appeal and even the reticent throw caution to the wind as they indulge in the wonderful new forms of communication it offers.

The trouble is, such communication is never simply among friends. It is effectively a broadcast over which you ultimately have little control. It's best never to post anything you don't want the world to see. Think of the reaction of your bosses, your relatives and your colleagues.

When it comes to the internet, the world is indeed a stage.