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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.

by Olivia Becker
Apr 22 2014, 10:10pm

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.

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.

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

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.

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