The NYPD has been trying to up its Twitter game under Commissioner Bill Bratton, but so far they’re trending for all the wrong reasons. The hashtag campaign #myNYPD, intended to put a friendly face on the city’s police force, almost instantly backfired, and used as a way to document police brutality. Now, cops will attend “Twitter school,” a social media course at CUNY’s John Jay College.
Back in March, Commissioner Bratton announced a planned rollout of Twitter accounts for every precinct, seemingly in the same howdy-neighbor spirit of April’s subsequent #myNYPD fail. But rather than learning the ins and outs of safely subtweeting their commanding officers or doxxing perps, the prevailing message of the course seems to be, per the course literature: “USE COMMON SENSE.” It’s a good place to start, at least.
The prevailing mood in America with respect to law enforcement is understandably sour, and more Internet visibility is unlikely to improve things. And neither will tweeting while policing. Maybe next Bratton can send the NYPD to school for something more germane—maybe “Don’t Shoot school”?
Follow John Sherman on Twitter @_john_sherman.