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Twitter Fail: NYPD's social media outreach campaign backfires

A request by the New York City Police Department has backfired.

Its request that Twitter users share pictures of them posing with police officers has caused people to start sending in photos of police brutality. 

The NYPD sent a tweet on Tuesday, saying it might feature the photographs on its Facebook page.

The responses soon turned ugly when Occupy Wall Street tweeted a photograph of cops battling protesters with the caption "changing hearts and minds one baton at a time."

Other photos included an elderly man bloodied after being arrested for jaywalking.

Some respondents did send in the type of police-friendly photographs officials were hoping to get.

NYPD spokeswoman Kim Royster told The New York Times the department was "creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community" and that Twitter provided “an open forum for an uncensored exchange” that is “good for our city."

Another spokesman, Stephen Davis, told the New York Post that the experience will not deter the department from moving forward with social media outreach efforts.

“People are free to do what they want,” Davis said. "But we are doing it to get our messages out to the communities . . . We will not be deterred from our social media objective."

A law enforcement source told The Post the department didn’t think it through.

“Good intentions by the NYPD, but . . . who uses Twitter?” the source said. “The younger generation who have had bad interactions with the Police Department.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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