The New York City Police Department learned the hard way that asking New Yorkers to tweet photos of themselves with police officers may not be the best idea.
On Tuesday, the New York City Police Department asked: “Do you have a photo with a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD.”
Little did they know New Yorkers are a cynical bunch and the police department’s public outreach campaign quickly turned into a PR fail.
The twitter call-out did elicit a few family friendly images of smiling police officers, but mostly people were just being dicks about it and posted photos of police brutality and officers asleep on the job.
#myNYPD became so popular that at one point, the hashtag was trending in the top 10 on Twitter, not only for New York, but in the world. The backlash quickly spread to the Los Angeles police department where #myLAPD began to trend, followed by the Seattle, San Francisco and Denver police departments.
Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster said in a brief statement Tuesday night that the NYPD is working on “creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community” and stated that the uncensored and open dialogue was good for the city. Yes, it was good for the city. It taught everyone a very valuable lesson: be careful what you ask for on the internet.