NYPD Twitter Fail

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NYPD Twitter Fail

It could happen to any of us with the best or even the worst of intentions. Social media can backfire and blow up right in your face based on the information that you choose to present, your comments to information already presented or the information that you favorite, share, re-Tweet, like, reply to or repost. The New York Police Department can attest to this.

Much like the 2012 #McDstories hashtag debacle, urging customers to share their favorite memories of McDonald’s, only for it to be answered with food horror stories about fingernails, insects and bouts of food poisoning, #NYPD posted the following on Twitter:

Seems like a harmless Tweet with a pretty creative hashtag for trying to build trust with the public, right? Well, there’s something to be said for timing. You see, this tweet was tweeted soon after the announcement that the police officer who put Eric Garner in a choke hold, eventually killing him, would not be indicted for Garner’s death. And, by a police chief no less. =

Of course, criticism followed in a flood of tweeted responses.

“Free Massages from the #NYPD. What does YOUR Police Department offer?” This was tweeted by @OccupyWallStNYC along with an image of officers holding a man down who was screaming with his arms behind his back.

“The #NYPD will also help you de-tangle your hair,” touted another Tweeter, @MoreandAgain, who posted a photo of an officer pulling the hair of a person who looked to be under arrest.

To be fair, other responses weren’t bad including the one by @poshwonderwoman, who tweeted a photo of her ride along with the 90th precinct:

But, typically the bad over takes the good in situations like this, and at 4:15p.m., the New York City Digital Director ordered city officials to “stop all outbound social content until further notice.”

Here enters the concern of security, especially for Chief Joanne Jaffe. She issued the tweet and that tweet will be forever connected to her work Twitter account, @NYPDCommAffairs, along with her picture. Anyone who “disagrees” with her and finds it necessary to retaliate, has the necessary information to locate her as it is known what she looks like, where she works, who she works for, who she follows as well as who follows her…all on the Twitter profile. And, with a history of 421 Tweets, criminals can get an idea of her events she has attended and a historical account of her work life.

Sometimes, you have to think like a criminal BEFORE you do something on social media that may seem harmless at the time.

(Slideshow picture: a katz / Shutterstock.com)

About the Author

Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.

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