When Your Enemy Is in the Process of Destroying Himself, Stay Out of His Way

When Your Enemy Is in the Process of Destroying Himself, Stay Out of His Way

The gentle souls at the New York Police Department came up with a great idea: let's give the little people a way to really express how they feel about us!

Within the cloistered halls of the precinct stations this probably sounded like a can't fail idea. After all, everyone they knew loved the NYPD.

Thus was born the hashtag #myNYPD.

What could go wrong?

In short:


< munches popcorn >

Keep them coming.

Last 5 posts by Clark


  1. Cat G. says

    Someone at the NYPD is going to be looking for a job tomorrow… or there will be an awful lot of warrants heading towards twitter. Maybe both!

  2. VPJ says

    You expect that cops might lose their jobs over this? Doubt it.

    Twitter, on the other hand, will need to pay some lawyers overtime, methinks.

  3. Shane says

    I hope that the #myNYPD hashtag lives forever, so that we never forget what happens when we give others power without any kind of checks on that power.

  4. says


    Someone at the NYPD is going to be looking for a job tomorrow…

    A cop getting fired for anything other than stealing another cop's lunch?

    What touching naivette!

  5. Mad Rocket Scientist says

    OMFG! That is awesome! Every PD should have such a tag (hell, every government office), and if they don't, someone should make it for them!

    This is a great way to get a feel for how the public feels.

    Mostly positive uses – Congratulations, your government entity is going above & beyond the call of duty!

    Crickets – Congratulations, your government entity is doing an adequate job!

    Mostly negative uses – Congratulations, you are busy creating libertarians in job lots!

  6. Mark says

    Thusly prior to launch the immortal lines "What could possibly go wrong?" were uttered.

    If you need to utter them think again and again and again and again and even if you still think it can't fail it will.

  7. Ebeth says

    Someone in Public Relations is fired. Sadly few, if any, of the featured officers met the same fate.
    Side note: Clark, I don't think I've ever seen you so brief!

  8. sinij says

    What Clark is doing is necessary, police should be held accountable for their actions, if only in social consequences kind of way.

  9. Zack says

    There was a comment on this in another discussion of it that is a little too on-the-nose… that this is being covered as a branding failure instead of as evidence of systematic, pervasive, and intolerable violence and abuse IS the problem.

  10. That Anonymous Coward says

    From inside it is sometimes hard to see how you look to the outside of the group.
    Boy Scouts think they are protecting kids, from the outside they look like small minded bigots.
    NYPD think they are saving the world, from the outside they look like thugs terrorizing citizens.
    NSA thinks they are protecting the country, from the outside they are violating everyones rights.
    TSA think they are keeping us safe, form the outside they are theater meant to waste money and annoy.

  11. Sad Panda says

    @TAC: I was with you up to the TSA. There's no way you could spend all day groping an endless line of people and their belongings and have any illusion of what those people think of you and your job.

    @Clark: Okay you're 2 for 2. If you're not careful, I might become a fan.

  12. Resolute says

    They should have spoke to the Pittsburgh Penguins about their #AskNeal disaster before trying this. More than any other popular social media site, Twitter is anarchy. They can control what goes up on their Facebook wall, but you can't control Twitter. We'll see if the next PR-social media flunky at the next organization with a less than stellar reputation heeds this warning.

  13. fnorgby says

    "Bu- bu- but they said no publicity was bad at my MBA school! Mindshare and visibility count more than the message, right?" — fired PR guy, while the rest of the PR staff look busy and whistle.

  14. Dan Weber says

    It's funny to see people in their own bubble talk confidently about how people in other bubbles "really" look. (No, I'm not talking about our host.)

  15. Black Betty says

    How is it when the NYPD is trying to shoot an armed perp, they can't hit him…but when they are trying to shoot a darting, fleeing dog, they never miss?

    Food for thought.

  16. The Wanderer says

    People are apparently trying to replicate / expand this beyond NYC, with the tag #myLAPD. It's not nearly as high-traffic as #myNYPD, but it's still gotten some activity today.

  17. Rick H. says

    Yeah, unfortunately some folks have diluted the impact of #myNYPD by mixing in photos from other cities' scandals, which just allows the cop defenders to hand-wave the argument.

  18. Veritas says

    The next time I get mugged in NYC I'll be sure to call the NY Times and thier ilk for help.

  19. rsm says

    Context matters Chal. Packard was arrested for participating in civil disobedience. That makes him slightly more like Oscar Romero than say Brendan Smyth, hence the appropriateness of the photo. If you don't know the other names either, google is very helpful.

  20. The Wanderer says

    @Rick H.:

    The #myLAPD tag shouldn't be diluting #myNYPD, though, unless people keep putting both of them on the same tweet – which when I looked at it didn't seem to be happening. I agree that posting non-NYPD photos under #myNYPD is questionably appropriate at best, and probably reduces the effectiveness of the whole thing.

  21. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Sad Panda – Stay with me. Cops know citizens don't trust them… but the union, chief, etc. are blind to it. This makes cops cranky, because even if they aren't the bad apple we treat them that way. The fastest way to make a stereotype happen is to treat the person that way.
    TSA grunts get crapped upon, but the higher ups always cover their back. Look the the string of theft rings they keep claiming were "isolated" incidents. They have a stupid job, even if they are nice – get treated poorly, and even if they crush your nuts someone higher up the food chain makes it go away.

    To maintain the illusion that they are better than the rest, they hide bad acts and refuse to let them be punished… until the acts are so outrageous they can no longer hide them. Then the punishment is dialed down, or reversed quietly by a board.

    People tell me I'm a horrible person, but there are lines I won't cross. If I knew I could cross those lines and face no repercussions… there would be way more copyright trolls pissed at me. I am held in check by my own morals and knowing if I go to far there is a penalty. Even if my morals slip, jail is a good motivation to not do the things I am capable of.

  22. The Wanderer says

    Apparently there's also now #myELAS, in Greece.

    I wonder how long this will last? It could still sink with little trace in a matter of days, but it looks like the sort of thing that has the potential to become a lasting and multi-tentacled protest movement.

    Be a bit ironic if the NYPD's shallow PR move managed to spark not merely a mass online protest against NYPD violence, but a global standard for online protests of police violence…

  23. Resolute says

    I'm not entirely sure of that, The Wanderer. 99% of those who've seen or followed #myNYPD and it's copycats are merely laughing at it. It reduces actual brutality down to the level of clowns being funny, which is ultimately counterproductive if one wishes to use this as a vehicle for change.

  24. jerslan says

    For #myLAPD the LAPD will probably try to find a way to ID & harass all posters and threaten to bring them up on charges… or something…

    Or maybe they'll take the "high road" and just ignore it all as mindless chatter lost in the noise of Twitter.