Redland City Council has been made aware of some suggestions being floated in social media that the standard practice of tracking media for keywords is being used to monitor “residents and ratepayers” Facebook accounts.
This is not the case. Council, and indeed all levels of government, routinely follow the media using third-party specialist technology.
This third-party technology is widely used, efficient and cost-effective, and a vital tool for government and numerous other industry organisations. Tracking of mentions in the media is a practice that has been in place for decades.
It is one of the methods that governments use to maintain a connection with their communities and to understand the sentiments of their communities; to identify and respond to emerging social issues; to identify and correct misinformation; and as an additional alert to emergency situations.
Council routinely follows public media articles and posts, searching for a lengthy list of key terms across television, radio, newspapers, magazines, internet pages, blogs and public posts on social media platforms.
The list of terms is based on current topical issues and the search parameters are not determined by Council’s CEO, Mayor or Councillors.
These word searches – such as for the term “Redland City Council” as an example – will only pick up public social media posts from the wider community; and in doing so will pick up public social media posts from all candidates running in next year’s local government elections that mention our search terms.
The daily news summary provided by the tracking of keywords would typically show Council where and when such issues as native title, housing strategies or environmental concerns relevant to Redlands Coast are mentioned in the media.
The technology is timely given the speed at which information travels via social media. In the not-too-distant past, media summaries were literally clipped by hand from newspapers.
Council reminds residents that requests for assistance, complaints or other feedback will not be actioned as a result of public social media posts and will not be visible to Council if posted on private pages or on closed group chats. Please contact Council directly if you have any such enquiries or suggestions.