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:
#mynypd arrests veterans at a veterans memorial for paying respects past midnight (VIDEO) https://t.co/cRSoV5Edor— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) April 22, 2014
Remember when I heard about Sean Bell. #MyNYPDpic.twitter.com/lxk9uuXSbQ— Dawud Walid (@DawudWalid) April 22, 2014
Why yes I do. @NYPDnews: Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPDpic.twitter.com/aDKoZPjTro— Molly Crabapple (@mollycrabapple) April 22, 2014
#myNYPD How the #NYPD checks if the person they arrested is still alive: make them bleed!! pic.twitter.com/BcYey0zDtp— New Word Order (@NWO_NOW) April 23, 2014
Yeah! They really showed that stupid jaywalker! http://t.co/bEHChPAWWj#MyNYPDpic.twitter.com/IOXMhCyO6x— Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) April 22, 2014
@NYPDnews#myNYPDpic.twitter.com/aA7aQD1wYT— Jeff Smith (@Jeff5mith) April 22, 2014
"And we're going to have to run you over, just for good measure." #myNYPDpic.twitter.com/q6JMNAajxb— Casey Aldridge (@CaseyJAldridge) April 22, 2014
Now, some of the more positive ones:
@NYPDnews my photo from my ride along with the boys from the 90th pct #myNYPDpic.twitter.com/vwv7KQjLFD— Lindsay Dixon (@poshwonderwoman)April 22, 2014
NYPD on World Police Band 2013, Jakarta, Indonesia. #myNYPDpic.twitter.com/bOqzUlOl95— F. Soebratawidjaja (@firstysoe) April 22, 2014
@NYPDnews This is how I want to see #myNYPD! pic.twitter.com/0RryEBMsHE— Hilda Cohen (@HildaBikes) April 22, 2014
@NYPDnews#myNYPD Best birthday treat EVER 2000 - great holiday. pic.twitter.com/W3NBttgFNZ— 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.”