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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New York Police Twitter Backlash Spreads Around the World

What began as an effort by the New York Police Department to get people to share favorable photos of city police officers on Twitter has turned into an international social media campaign about police abuse.

As my colleague J. David Goodman reports, the Police Department’s Twitter hashtag #mynypd was quickly hijacked after @NYPDNews made its initial callout.

Now, people are sharing unflattering photos of police officers on Twitter from Greece, with the hashtag #myELAS, to Mexico, using the hashtag #MiPolicíaMexicana.

In Greece, Twitter users were sharing encounters with police officers from protests in the last two years.

Twitter users in Los Angeles turned to the hashtag #myLAPD to share photos of police officers there.

In New York City, a Twitter account for the Occupy Wall Street movement urged its followers to share photos of the police “changing hearts and minds one baton at a time.” Several of the photos, including one from The Associated Press, came from confrontations with city police officers during multiple protests organized by Occupy Wall Street, starting in the fall of 2011.

A Twitter user from Venezuela, where police officials have been clashing with protesters in recent weeks, said police abuse was much worse in that country.

While most of the photos on Twitter did not portray police officers in the best light, a few people did post positive images.