Twitter Hashtag Gone Bad: New York Police #myNYPD Goes Viral for Unexpected Reasons

By @jenillecristy on

New York police creates a Twitter hashtag to show the world how happy and accommodating New York City is, especially with the presence of the police department. #myNYPD went on the run only to gather unexpected and unpleasant response from netizens.

The New York Police department on its Twitter account invited people to post their personal photos with a member of the squad using the tag #myNYPD. The tweet went, “Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD. It may be featured on our Facebook."

The hashtag idea is to generate a consensus of photos showing that New York is a one big happy city, as reported in the online news portal, The Wire. However, the police missed to hit their goal, as the idea started good but ended bad.

On the first few tweets, people responded with positivity. Photos of people, usually tourists, accompanied with smiling cops jumpstarted the hashtag trend. But it did not go long when people started to use the hashtag with photos showing police brutality. The hashtag created a trend of its own and went viral for the wrong reasons—a social media strategy failure, indeed.

Photos of the New York police pushing a man (in protest) in the neck, members of the police arresting a man while pushing him in the hood of the car so he can’t move, a police hitting someone with his stick and a group of photos showing the unpleasant treatment of the cops to protesters are some of the posts tweeted using the hashtag.

The irony went on. The majority of people who joined the hashtag craze began commenting on how cops can sometimes be brutal and be law violators themselves.

The NYPD responded to the tweets by retweeting photos of smiling cops beside smiling people posted under #myNYPD. This seems to be the team's way of coping with the bad things the social media failure had caused them. It was supposed to be a good public relations strategy that went bad. When the New York City police thought everyone likes them and they were heroes, they may now think twice with all the mocking they got from several social media users.

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