The New York Police Department tried its hand at social outreach on Twitter Tuesday, deploying what was supposed to be a feel-good #MyNYPD hashtag.
The social media campaign backfired almost immediately, with users instead tweeting photos of instances of alleged police brutality by NYPD officers.
The hashtag hijacking has since gone viral. It should be noted, though, that not all the images being passed around are instances of real police brutality and many lack context.
Further, there were also several positive responses to the #MyNYPD hashtag. We’ll show you a little bit of both below:
— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) April 22, 2014
— Dawud Walid (@DawudWalid) April 22, 2014
— Molly Crabapple (@mollycrabapple) April 22, 2014
— New Word Order (@NWO_NOW) April 23, 2014
— Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) April 22, 2014
— Jeff Smith (@Jeff5mith) April 22, 2014
— Casey Aldridge (@CaseyJAldridge) April 22, 2014
Now, some of the more positive ones:
— Lindsay Dixon (@poshwonderwoman) April 22, 2014
— F. Soebratawidjaja (@firstysoe) April 22, 2014
— Hilda Cohen (@HildaBikes) April 22, 2014
— MDplusthree (@MDplusthree) April 22, 2014
As Mashable notes, Twitter users did the same thing to McDonald’s Starbucks and both 2012 presidential campaigns when they tried to push a catchy hashtag.
“The NYPD’s Wednesday foible, however, seems to be the most high-profile involving a police department,” the site adds. “New York City had a new mayor, Bill de Blasio, and a new police commissioner, William Bratton, started in January 2014. This is likely not how they imagined beginning a new era of public outreach.”
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