Most brands and organizations have been fine-tuning their social media presence recently in efforts to seem relatable to their followers while also avoiding controversy when possible, and the New York Police Department is no exception. The police force’s NYPD NEWS Twitter account often seeks the public’s help in certain investigations while also filling other messages with emojis and language that you’d expect to find on social media. Internal documents obtained by Vice show the training that goes on to help those in charge of these accounts craft these messages, and that training apparently involves references to famed YouTuber Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg.
The internal documents for the NYPD’s social media training which Vice said it obtained encompass several different topics like tweets that may be offensive despite seeming innocent and reminders to not treat serious situations lightly amid the lighthearted tweets. One of the slides in a presentation which was titled “Promotional_Training_Prezi” was dedicated to the YouTuber.
We obtained presentations that show how the NYPD is explicitly instructed to “be funny” in order to “build trust” on official social media channels.July 22, 2019
It is unclear when these presentations were made, however. The YouTuber’s social media presence on YouTube and other platforms is undeniable, but PewDiePie has also been at the center of several controversies in the past few years, so perhaps he was chosen as a reference at a time before some of those took place. The training documents contain examples of tweets dating back to 2014-15, though at least one of the documents was dated at June 2017. A stat for PewDiePie’s slide also states that he has 54 million subscribers while anyone who has been following his race against T-Series from not long ago will know that he’s far beyond that number now.
The tweet below is one of the examples of the NYPD NEWS Twitter account engaging with the community when it took part in World Emoji Day.
🗽 🗽 👮♂️ 👮♀️— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 17, 2019
🗽🗽 🗽 👮♂️ 👮♀️
🗽 🗽 🗽 👮♂️
🗽 🗽🗽 👮♀️#WorldEmojiDay
An NYPD spokesperson provided a statement to Vice when reached for comment that boasted the accrual of over 1 million followers and the community engagement the Twitter account has led to.
“Since 2014, the accounts have amassed over 1 million followers, have helped launch hundreds of community events, forged relationships, introduced residents to their own local officers, allowed us to gauge issues of concern from the public, as well as notify them in real time regarding emergencies,” an NYPD spokesperson told Vice. “Use of social media accounts has also helped solve and prevent crimes through tips, awareness and community interaction.”