It's always a bit entertaining to watch misguided social media moves backfire. But there's a particular poetic justice when the moves are made by conceiveable villains like politicians or J.P. Morgan or…the New York City Police Department (NYPD). On Tuesday, @NYPDnews asked people on Twitter to post photos of themselves with officers, using the hashtag #MyNYPD. You can probably imagine how this went ….
After a few friendly posts, the response quickly shifted to folks using the #MyNYPD hashtag to highlight police brutality and abuse.
@MoreAndAgain: You might not have known this, but the NYPD can help you with that kink in your neck. #MyNYPD
@OCongress: 50 years of #NYPD brutality on minority youth. Bet you won't feature this on your Facebook. #myNYPD @NYPDnews
NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster tried to put a positive spin on things. "The NYPD is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community," she said in a short statement. "Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city."
@TORYRVGXR: No problem, I have a photo wit 4! RT @NYPDnews Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD
For a while on Tuesday the #MyNYPD hashtag was among the top 10 trending topics on Twitter, not just for New York City but around the world, according to The New York Times.
@NYSpanish: The way they are trained to twist your neck!! : This lady #MyNYPD is stronger than Superman
An unnamed "law enforcement source" told the New York Post that the department didn't think it through, because "who uses Twitter? The younger generation who have had bad interactions with the Police Department." Yes, clearly only those pesky millenials have had bad run-ins with the cops …
@CassandraRules: How about featuring this one of the #NYPD with the 84yo man they brutalized for jay walking? #myNYPD @NYPDnews
@OccupySPb: @OccupyWallStNYC Arresting the old man for writing "Peace to the World" against Russian invasion in Ukraine #MyNYPD
Correction: It's been pointed out to me that this last photo—though tweeted with the #MyNYPD hashtag— doesn't actually picture the NYPD.
Correction #2/Update: It seems the cop in the first photo might not actually be NYPD either! Commenters on Reason's Facebook page are saying it's a Chicago cop. Chicago residents have begun sharing photos of their own friendly local officers, using the hashtag #MyCPD (and many of the photos are getting shared sort of willy nilly between city hashtags). Residents of other cities have been joining in with their own hashtags and photos as well.