Police agencies on Facebook overreport on Black suspects


Publish Date:
November 2, 2022
Publication Title:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Journal Article Volume 119 Issue 45
  • Ben Grunwald, Julian Nyarko & John Rappaport, Police Agencies on Facebook Overreport on Black Suspects, 119 Proc. Nat'l Acad. Sci. e2203089119 (2022).


This article analyzes all Facebook posts from pages maintained by US law enforcement agencies to show that Facebook users are exposed to posts about serious crimes that significantly overrepresent Black suspects relative to local arrest rates. Results point to one mechanism by which the state itself may reinforce racial stereotypes about crime. Prior research shows that these stereotypes, in turn, may heighten demand for the state’s penal services.