The NYPD Was Not Prepared To See These Photos Trend For Their Feel-Good Campaign
When The NYPD Invited People To Tweet Pictures Of Their Dealings With "New York's Finest" With The Hashtag #myNYPD, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
On Tuesday, the NYPD's official Twitter account tried to stir up some good community vibes by asking followers to share photos of themselves alongside New York City police officers, using the hashtag #myNYPD. The best responses would go on the department's Facebook page. The above tweet is kind of thing the NYPD had in mind.bbc.com
The Attempt At Public Outreach, However, Backfired Spectacularly When Users Flooded Twitter With Hundreds Of Photos Of Police Brutality During Occupy Wall Street Protest. For Example:
A Few More Examples:
By Midnight On Tuesday, More Than 70,000 People Had Tweeted About Police Brutality, Ridiculing The NYPD For A Social Media Disaster And Recalling The Names Of People Shot Dead By Police, Reports The Guardian
The NYPD Declined To Respond To Questions About The Comments Or Say Who Was Behind The Twitter Idea. But They Did Release A Short Statement.
"The NYPD is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community," Kim Royster, an NYPD spokeswoman told the New York Daily News. "Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city."theguardian.com
Meanwhile, William J. Bratton, The Police Commissioner, Said He Isn't Too Bothered By The Reaction:
“I kind of welcome the attention,” he told the New York Daily News, later adding that "often times police activities are lawful, but look awful." Bratton said he strongly supports social media and that people should keep sending both happy and brutal images, even while acknowledging that many of the New York incidents photographed took place under his predecessor, Ray Kelly.washingtonpost.com
Bratton has said he wants to use social media more to gauge public opinion. Earlier this month, a photo showing an officer walking an elderly woman (believed to be blind) was quite popular online, prompting the decision to ask for more photos of police with members of the public, according to the Wall Street Journal. Bratton also encouraged people to keep sending in photos, not that people need much encouragement.mashable.com
It's Worth Mentioning, However, That The NYPD's Tweet Also Provoked Plenty Of Earnest, Upbeat Responses
Not all the posts were negative. JP Quinn, 40, tweeted a picture from inside the old Yankee Stadium with his brother Michael, 38, who is a detective in Brooklyn South. "I like when they make public efforts like this. It's a shame that it blew up like this," Quinn told the Daily News. "I just assumed it would be all roses, like whoever came up with that for the NYPD."theguardian.com
One user even criticized the backlash. "People are so lame, there's a lot of good cops out there as well," tweeted @annuhk.cnn.com