It is not uncommon for “older” bodies of the industry to “not get” how social media works. At it’s core, a social campaign give a lot of power to the community so if they decide to change it around, there is very little anyone can do.
I wonder if NYPD thought about this when they started their #myNYPD Twitter campaign. The campaign calling for new-yorkers (and twitter users in general) to upload a photo with a local NYPDer quickly turned into a massive outbreak of photos showing police brutality.
In what may have been an innocent tweet, NYPD published the following call to action:
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 22, 2014
The police, I guess were expecting a community hug, and while some photos are quite supportive, the mass of the tag is made from photos of police violence.
— Viva La Revolución (@70torinoman) April 23, 2014
— M.Logic (@Nycresistance) April 23, 2014
— Cocky McSwagsalot (@MoreAndAgain) April 22, 2014
By last night over 70,000 photos of police brutality were made, and they are still constantly uploading. (about 150 new tweets were made by the time this article was done).
even tough the campaign can now be retagged as #totalfail, New Yrok Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster stood up for it:
“The NYPD is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community. Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city”
Sadly, as NYPD learned, creating a hashtag does not assert your control over it.