When governments use social media…..

When governments use social media….
By Awo Eni

New York Police Department staff and police officers are finding themselves taking social media etiquette classes after a few too many Twitter fails.
In an attempt to start an interactive campaign to showcase New York’s finest, the NYPD social media team created the hashtag #myNYPD and asked people to post pictures that highlighted the fine work that New York police officers are known for.
NYPD did not expect the hashtag to be hijacked (hijackinghappens often when people do not think of all the negative things that a hashtag, that might seem harmless, could potentially cause). Instead of posting pictures of friendly police officers posing with friendly tourists and New York residents, the hashtag found pictures of police officers arresting protesters, beating people and posing inappropriately at the annual West Indian Day Parade.

In the classes that NYPD commanders will take, some of the lessons that they will be learning include using basic common sense before posting.
It is interesting to see how governmental and public agencies have attempted to embrace social media- some with success, and some with failure.
When the CIA joined Twitter, their first tweet made headlines.
In the North Texas area, @dentonpdtweets in solidarity for fallen or injured officers, its UNT pride as well as Silver and Amber alerts for missing persons. It is really convenient for DFW drivers that want to know when I-35 will be closed, especially with the expansion project going on, without turning on the TV or the radio- you can just follow @35express and know which exists to avoid.
Big politicos are also using social media to their advantages. Approximately 80% of world politicians use social media.
2008 saw traditional media outlets partnering with social media platforms for a very interactive electionseason. CNN partnered with YouTube for some presidential debates and had the public tweet their questions to the candidates.
Social media can be a good place for organizations of any type to send out information to the public. It is not just for brands and celebrities. When used correctly, governmental organization, politicians and public figures can find creative and effective ways to use social media to push their agendas, policies or just give people information. 

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Mayborn Social Media Class

This is the official class blog of Journalism 4270/5330.001, the strategic social media class of the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas. Contributors are upper level undergraduate and graduate students, mainly journalism majors. Our Twitter hashtag is #untj4270. All content is student or instructor generated, and opinions are our own. Material is copyright by individual authors. Comments are welcome and encouraged.