“Does the Sleaze Wash Off with a Regular Shower, or Do You Have to Use Something Special like Babies[’] Tears?”

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The use of the First Amendment can be a good deed; so can the use of satire. Basically, we need criticism — it helps keep people and organizations honest. A July 2014 article titled “5 Social Networking Promotions That Backfired Spectacularly” in the online website (I at first typed “websatire,” which is accurate) gave some good examples. One involved the New York City police. Authors Chris Rio and Russ Pontius pointed out, “The police aren’t bad folks. Sure, there’s the errant power-hungry [*]sshole, but for the most part cops are solid community servants, and we should recognize their service.” But, of course, the police need to be watched and, when necessary, criticized. In early 2014, the NYPD launched a #myNYPD Twitter campaign, in which they asked people to submit photographs of themselves with NYPD officers. At first, they got the friendly photographs they had sought, but quickly they began receiving another kind of photograph. Many showed police interacting with protesters — the interactions may have been police brutality. One photograph showed an NYPD officer holding a man down on the ground by placing his knee on the man’s neck. Twitterer Cocky McSwagsalot wrote this caption for the photograph: “You might not have known this, but the NYPD can help you with that kink in your neck.” Another photograph shows an NYPD officer with a baton in position to strike a masked man. Twitterer Occupy Wall Street wrote this photo caption: “Here the #NYPD engages with its community members, changing hearts and minds one baton at a time.” Another photograph shows three NYPD officers restraining a woman. One police officer has both hands on her right shoulder/chest area. The Twitterer wrote this photo caption: “Need a mammogram? #myNYPD has you covered! Forget Obamacare!” Another use of social media to criticize an organization occurred when JP Morgan set up an opportunity to ask Vice President Jimmy Lee questions in November 2013. Cracked authors Chris Rio and Russ Pontius pointed out that we should “keep in mind that at the time of the Q&A, $JPM (or JPMoney, as the kids these days steadfastly refuse to call them) was right in the middle of their financial, legal, and moral ‘troubles.’ To be more specific, J.P. Morgan was under investigation by the Justice Department for eight shades of shadiness — including bribery in Asia and a relationship with Bernie Madoff — not to mention the fact that they were poised for a $13 billion settlement with Uncle Sam over mortgage securities fraud that may or may not have booted us into the deep end of the recession pool without so much as a pity floaty.” Critics of JPMorgan were happy to send in their questions. Alexis Goldstein asked, “Do all employees get noise-cancelling headphones to mute the sounds of poverty your foreclosures cause, or do only execs get those?” Ed Sanders asked, “Does the sleaze wash off with a regular shower, or do you have to use something special like babies[’] tears?”

For Further Information: Chris Rio, Russ Pontius, “5 Social Networking Promotions That Backfired Spectacularly.” Cracked. 11 July 2014


For Further Information: THOMAS TRACY , TIMOTHY O’CONNOR , DAREH GREGORIAN. “#myNYPD Twitter campaign backfires, promotes photos of police brutality instead of positive encounters with public.” NEW YORK DAILY NEWS. 22 April 2014


For Further Information: “JPMorgan reaches record $13B settlement with DOJ: Here’s how the money will be spent.” Washington Post. 19 November 2013


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