What’s she hiding? pic.twitter.com/6NdpRZsWSa
— G M Police (@gmpolice) October 5, 2016
Not gonna lie, the first time I saw this picture I honestly thought it was some sort of joke. This is an actual tweet that the Greater Manchester Police sent out on Oct. 5. The tweet is still up, if you feel compelled to see how this police station uses funky fonts and odd taglines to get their point across to the public. However, looking at this again, there really seems to be no point to this tweet at all.
It seems like the person who made the photo stopped to read “A Dummy’s Guide to Photoshop” before creating it. Apparently, that person also didn’t stop to think about how the tagline “What’s she hiding?” would fly under the radar on Twitter.
Of course, this picture was no exception to that rule. Tons of people had a lot to say about this picture, presenting a clever mix of people who found the tweet to be offensive, as well as those who found the post to be just plain funny. From the original tweet, it’s hard to say in what direction the Greater Manchester police were going, so it’s pretty cool to see the differing opinions on this subject. Here are a few of my favorite tweets that happened to grace my timeline:
@gmpolice none of your business.
— Rebecca (@rebeccarrrr) October 5, 2016
— Andrew Ellis (@Ellis_Samizdat) October 5, 2016
— Liz (@Lizzy176) October 5, 2016
— Sallie Lou (@salwando) October 5, 2016
As it turns out, the image itself had a partner in crime. A follow-up tweet appeared only a day after the original tweet was posted, showing off the Greater Manchester station’s sense of humor.
— G M Police (@gmpolice) October 6, 2016
This tweet once again used slightly comical computer skills to get its point across. The original image was not meant to say anything negative toward women in any sense; in fact, it was just the beginning of a punch line for the Greater Manchester’s new campaign to prevent women from coming to the aid of criminals. #GirlsAgainstGuns became a topic of discussion, with many people wondering why the ad was specifically targeting women and not both genders. Many took to mocking the sexism in the tweet, including this gem.
— Erynn Brook (@ErynnBrook) October 6, 2016
This whole incident ended with a basic dad joke, which to me is the perfect ending to this very interesting situation. I enjoyed how confusion and sexism were blended together in this awkward tweet. This awareness-campaign-gone-wrong approach culminated in a corny joke and it shows that it’s sometimes OK to take a lighthearted approach to bigger issues from time to time, as long as the main message is getting across. I do think that this specific tweet backfired big time, but that’s due to the slogan, not because of the unsuccessful use of comedy. Greater Manchester, I love the effort, but maybe next time leave the cheesy jokes off my timeline.