Most people view interactions with the police as inherently unpleasant — if you run into them, it's because you're either in need or in trouble — but those people do not run the New York Police Department's Twitter feed. Whoever that special someone is invited people to submit their personal pictures with the squad, to show how New York is all one big happy city. Like most attempts to spin the system for online cred, it went about as well as you'd expect.
On Tuesday afternoon the official NYPD account tweeted, "Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD. It may be featured on our Facebook." And while the first few photos featured smiling tourists with smiling, friendly police officers, it didn't take long for the majority of the tweets in the hashtag feature images of police brutality. They had a lot of them.
Or people mocking the department for being dumb enough to think this wouldn't backfire:
And while most people would argue that this is a giant social media fail, the NYPD still managed to find and retweet all the pro-police photos in the hashtag. Looking at their page you'd never guess that people don't really enjoy going on ride alongs with the cops.
Since the NYPD's PR strategy seem to be pretending that everyone loves the NYPD, maybe they just didn't notice everyone else mocking them.
This article was originally published at http://www.thewire.com/culture/2014/04/the-mynypd-hashtag-goes-viral-for-all-the-wrong-reasons/361074/