The social media managers for New York City’s boys in blue learned the hard way earlier this year that hashtag campaigns aren’t always a huge success. People mocked the NYPD’s simply-named #myNYPD effort by Tweeting photos of police brutality and, in some cases, alleged incidents of violence committed against them by officers, which all had the NYPD’s Twitter account trending for the wrong reasons. For any normal police department, an #EpicFail like that might have caused commanding officers to say, “Let’s stick to Tweeting about crime,” but according to the New York Post, it was instead one of the factors that presumably led to the NYPD issuing a “Twitter handbook” to officers.
In the 34-page guidebook for how to make people pee their pants with laughter instead of fear, the NYPD encourages its own officers to be more like the zany cut-ups of San Francisco’s police, with their hilariously nonchalant penis jokes.
One reads: “Officers just arrested a naked man in the bison paddock in GG [Golden Gate] Park. The bison seemed unimpressed.”
By contrast, it tells cops not to post boring, jargon-filled tweets, such as, “Officers responded to an apartment on the 2500 block of Turk St. regarding a burglary.” (Via the NY Post)
At the same time, NYPD officers are asked to avoid using threatening or “abusive language,” and especially to avoid getting suckered into embarrassing situations by trolls, as well as the awful backlash to poorly-conceived hashtag attempts. Basically, officers likely won’t be responding to anyone Tweeting NWA lyrics at them. However, at least one unnamed police source told the Post that this handbook is nothing but a big, old pain in the butt.
The handbook also says top brass are expected to tweet at least four times a day — which some cops say is unnecessary.
“It’s a lot more work … Now I have to worry about social media on top of everything else I have to do,” one police source said.
The NYPD could have saved a lot of time on this and just taken one page from the Mens Humor guide to Twitter – steal everyone else’s jokes and don’t give a sh*t what people think about it.