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Disastrous #myNYPD Twitter Campaign Backfires Hilariously

Twitter users reacted to the NYPD's new social media campaign by posting images of police brutality rather than smiling cops.
Photo by Nick Allen

Someone in the New York Police Department’s public relations office thought it would be a good idea to create a Twitter hashtag to promote an online presentation of officers as beloved public servants. Somewhat predictably, everyone else on Twitter thought otherwise.

The NYPD announced the new campaign at 2 PM this afternoon, inviting people to use #myNYPD to tag and upload smiling pictures of themselves with police officers.


The hashtag backfired almost immediately, turning into a virtual catalog of photographs of New York’s finest using excessive, and often brutal, force.

Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it — NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews)April 22, 2014

Twitter users uploaded a plethora of pictures of the NYPD beating people up, violently dispersing protests, and carrying out the controversial stop-and-frisk policy.

The — Cocky McSwagsalot (@MoreAndAgain)April 22, 2014

Footage of NYPD taking bribes during Hurricane Sandy gas shortage: — Anonymous (@YourAnonNews)April 22, 2014

MT — DefendedInTheStreets (@KimaniFilm)April 22, 2014

— HDG (@hdgremix)April 22, 2014

This isn’t what the department had in mind when it created the social media campaign.

— Copwatch (@Copwatch)April 22, 2014

— Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC)April 22, 2014

Need a lift? The — Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC)April 22, 2014

Yet this is not the first time a prominent and divisive organization mistakenly unleashed the wrath of all of social media upon themselves. Last year, JP Morgan Chase asked users to tweet questions at a top executive using the hashtag #AskJP.

The move bit back almost immediately when users quickly responded with questions such as: “Did you always want to be part of a vast, corrupt criminal enterprise or did you ‘break bad?’ ” and “When Jamie Dimon eats babies are they served rare? I understand anything above medium-rare is considered gauche.”


Then there was: “Did you have a specific number of people’s lives you needed to ruin before you considered your business model a success?”

Things seem to quickly be going down that road with #myNYPD.

to be fair, my arresting officer was a solid dude — Kevin Dolak (@kdolak)April 22, 2014

This is what the top pictures on — Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz)April 22, 2014

— Joel (@droel666)April 22, 2014

Wait, the NYPD asked for this? Oh lord. — Brianna Leigh (@raininblack)April 22, 2014

An officer from Precinct 114 once ticketed me for doing this exact thing on the N train. — Daniel Stuckey (@danstuckey)April 22, 2014

This failed social media campaign shows that not all publicity is good publicity. At least not when you’re the NYPD.

Follow Olivia Becker on Twitter: @obecker928

Photo via Wikimedia Commons