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The New York Police Department has just learned the first thing about social media - consider the negative effects. While the #myNYPD campaign could have been a good way to show the good that the NYPD does, officials clearly didn’t consider that Twitter isn’t always used to highlight the good. The hashtag was hijacked to show police brutality instead.
This all started Tuesday afternoon when the NYPD posted on Twitter, “Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD. It may be featured on our Facebook.” While the official page has since featured some positive images that have been tweeted, the majority of tweets with the #myNYPD hashtag have been anything but positive for the department.
As the New York Daily News notes, within hours of the initial tweet, there were over 70,000 comments about police brutality and images showing police beating and arresting civilians. Some showed Occupy Wall Street protesters getting beaten, others showed older people arrested.
— Khaled Sayed (@khaledfilms) April 23, 2014
Soon, #myNYPD became a nation-wide trending topic, even beating #HappyEarthDay.
The epic Twitter fail is part of the NYPD’s attempt to engage citizens on the social network. According to The Wall Street Journal, precincts were recently allowed to tweet news.
Deputy Chief Kim Royster did issue a statement in response to how Twitter had taken over the hashtag, saying, “The NYPD is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community. Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city.”
Unfortunately for the NYPD, it turned out that much of that dialogue was not what it intended to see.
image via Twitter from Khaled Films