Iowa Police Department’s Social Media Experiment Goes Viral in a Hurry
Trending| | By Brian Delpozo
The West Liberty Police Department came up with an interesting way to try and teach kids about how a post on social media can go viral. However, even they didn’t realize just how far it would go.
On February 21, the department posted a photo to their Facebook page depicting Officer Pamela Romero holding a sign that read, “I’m officer Pamela Romero with the West Liberty Police Dept. We are trying to show our W.L. kids how quickly a message can be shared on Facebook. Please like, share, and comment on your location. Thank you.”
The West Liberty Police also added a caption to the photo, further explaining the thought behind it, and asking all those who saw the post to share it:
“We are going to be talking to kids at West Liberty schools about their use of social media. We want them to understand once they hit enter or send there is no way to get something back. We need your help with this. Please like, comment with your location, and share this with friends. We would like to get responses from all over the world to show our kids how quickly something can spread.”
Police Chief Kary Kinmonth told Your Daily Dish, “We had some problems like any community with kids getting on social media and sharing things whether it was sexting, texting or cyber bullying. We wanted to show kids just how permanent something is — and once you transmit something you can’t get it back.”
The experiment succeeded far beyond the department’s hopes, with 38,000 shares as of February 23. In addition, the post brought in 10,000 comments, with many posters stating what state or country they were from, showing the massive reach the post had accrued.
“Honestly we expected to get maybe 100 responses,”Kinmonth told Your Daily Dish. “We now have over 2,400,000 views.”
The experiment shines a further light on the issue of teens’ social media footprint, and how harmful a quick-spreading social media post can be.
As pointed out by KidsHealth.org, “Posting an inappropriate photo can damage a kid’s reputation in ways that may cause problems years later — such as when a potential employer or college admissions officer does a background check. And if a kid sends a mean-spirited tweet as a joke, it could be very hurtful to someone else and even taken as a threat.”