Instagram is a widely used social media platform and people upload their daily selfies there to share with their fans and loved ones. German police have launched an internal investigation into the proliferation of uniformed selfies, as officers, ‘moonlighting’ as social media influencers, appear to be using their jobs to boost their likes online.
Police Commissioner Barbara Slowik has commissioned an internal audit of officers posting under hashtags such as “#instacops” blurring the line between their activities as police officers with those of influencers.
Instagram users such as Mehtap Öger and Adrienne Koleszár present a combination of beauty and authority in a trend that appears to be on the rise, not just in Germany but around the globe, especially under hashtags like “#shecandoboth” in which servicewomen from all walks of life share uniformed selfies juxtaposed with more glamorous shots.
Read more: The World’s Second Most Beautiful Woman is…?
“Whether offline or online, police officers have to comply with official duties, they have special duties in their profession as public servants,” says Jörg Radek, deputy chairman of the Union of Police (GdP), explaining that officers who are active online must navigate their roles as “uniform bearers” while staying within “the boundaries of good taste in their posts.”
Radek did retweet a police warning about the dangers of selfies in general, however, so he may be a social media skeptic regardless of a person’s job as a civil servant.
Meanwhile, the German federal police has issued social media guidelines for officers, advising about both the possibilities of recruiting young talent but also the inherent dangers of exposing their roles as protectors of the peace.
“The use of social networks should leave no doubt that one represents and expresses himself exclusively as a private person,” the guidelines warn. The German police investigation can lead any way but people have a hilarious reaction to it on social media platforms.
RT with additional input by GVS News Desk