The New York Police Department (NYPD) attempted to promote positive communication in New York City by encouraging people to tweet photos with them on Twitter. Would you think that this gesture would backfire?
According to Fox News article “Twitter Fail: NYPD’s Social Media Outreach Campaign Backfires,” the NYPD sent a tweet on Tuesday, April 22 asking Twitter users to tweet pictures with a member of the NYPD and to tag it #myNYPD. My first thought is that this is promoting peace and positive communication between NYC citizens and their police department. Unfortunately, not everyone had the same reaction. Photos of police officers being violent were tweeted. Even though there were still positive pictures tweeted, they were overshadowed by the violent tweets.
Image taken as a screenshot from Twitter
I find the results of NYPD’s social media outreach campaign are quite discouraging. The NYPD did not expect it to backfire like it did. On one hand, I am disappointed that the people who tweeted the negative pictures did not just appreciate NYPD’s attempt to bring together the community. However, I also understand the importance of freedom of speech and expression. This is a great example of how much freedom social media gives people to say pretty much whatever they want. Even with the high authority that police officers have, citizens have every right to post those pictures if they are true.
My initial thought of the campaign’s backfire was that the NYPD might stop the campaign and promotion of social media use. I also thought that maybe they would be pressured by the negative attention to make sure that violent instances like those displayed in the pictures would never happen again. I was impressed to learn that the NYPD welcomed this “open forum for an uncensored exchange.” I think that this is a big step towards using social media to bridge gaps within a community. It allows people to have the freedom to say how they think or feel.
Featured Image: Image taken as a screenshot from Twitter