Over the past several years, there’s been a growing disapproval of the actions of some American police officers, and police departments across the country have found that their image has taken quite a hit. The New York Police Department’s public relations department somehow seemed oblivious to this, or perhaps even more unlikely, they just expected the internet to take the high road. Nevertheless, on April 22, 2014, they launched the #myNYPDcampaign with the following tweet:
“Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD. It may be featured on our Facebook.”
Their hope was that people would post friendly pictures of themselves with police officers. But, of course, no one did. Instead, they posted pictures depicting brutality at the hands of NYPD officers, including pictures of their handling of protestors at the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. At one point, there were 10,000 posts per hour with the tag #MyNYPD and a very large majority of them didn’t make the NYPD look particularly good. Within 24 hours, there were over 70,000 posts using the #myNYPD tag regarding police brutality, shooting of unarmed people, corruption, and more notorious acts committed by the NYPD. The NYPD tried to salvage the campaign by retweeting pictures they liked, but the overwhelming negative tweets brought even more international attention to the problems facing the department’s public relation problems.