Fake Ore. police Twitter account angers cops

Departments struggle to protect their identity when Twitter users impersonate them

By Police1 Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. — A Twitter account that doesn't have any legit ties to the Portland police department has been using the police bureau's badge and operating under the name "pdxpolice," according to KPTV.com.

The user has been posting threatening tweets, like stating that they were going to use Photoshop to place Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman's face in gay pornography. Other tweets mock Portland officers for getting a TASER and firearm stolen from a police vehicle.

In an interview with KPTV, a spokesperson for the police bureau said it would be "ridiculous" to try to stop all fake Twitter accounts because they fall under "free speech".

According to CNET, In March 2009 the Austin, Texas police department also suffered a Twitter impersonation. "Although some may dismiss the site as a simple prank or minor irritant, the fact is that the information presented was false and misleading, and could lead to unwarranted concern by the public," Austin police chief Art Acevedo said in a statement.

Authorities at the department had complained to Twitter, and the link to the account now reads that it was "suspended for strange activity."

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