New hashtags spring up mocking police in several U.S. cities
New York police ask folks on Twitter to post photos, using hashtag #myNYPD
The response was swift -- and overwhelmingly negative
A spokeswoman defends the campaign: "This is an open dialogue good for our city"
A push for some social media love by the New York Police Department backfired badly, with Twitter users taking advantage of the invitation to mock the NYPD and other departments nationwide.
The department on Tuesday asked folks to post photos of themselves with its officers, using the hashtag #myNYPD. The response was swift and overwhelmingly negative as tweeters hijacked the hashtag to post photos they said showed police brutality or misconduct.
“Free Massages from the #NYPD. What does YOUR Police Department offer?” tweeted @OccupyWallStNYC, which posted an image of officers holding a man, seemingly screaming, with his arms behind his back, on top of a car.
“The #NYPD will also help you de-tangle your hair,” tweeted @MoreAndAgain, posting a photo of an officer pulling the hair of a person who appears to be under arrest.
Similar hashtags sprang up around the country, with #MyLAPD, #MyCPD and #MyAPD among those trending Wednesday morning. In a tweet that showed a Chicago police officer who appeared ready to punch someone with a camera, @70torinoman quipped, “#myCPD extending his fist out to the community.”
The tag #MyAPD referred to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where a Justice Department report recently blasted what it called a long history of police brutality and unnecessary deadly force.
But a New York police spokeswoman defended the campaign despite the backlash.
“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,” said Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster.
Indeed, the posts weren’t all bad.
“(M)y photo from my ride along with the boys from the 90th pct,” tweeted @poshwonderwoman, showing a woman posing alongside three smiling officers.
One user even criticized the backlash.
“People are so lame, there’s a lot of good cops out there as well,” tweeted @annuhk.
The social media fail was reminiscent of another recent Twitter debacle.
In 2012, McDonald’s created the #McDstories hashtag, asking customers to share their favorite McDonald’s memories.
The company yanked the campaign after two hours and countless food-horror stories about fingernails, insects and bouts of food poisoning.
One user tweeted Tuesday about the harsh lesson learned.
Another user said the NYPD should have known better.
What do you think of the NYPD’s Twitter campaign? Share your opinion in the comments section below.
CNN’s Justin Lear, Lorenzo Ferrigno and Doug Gross contributed to this report.