Kiwi cops' tweet-a-thon hijacked by spammers

Photo / File
Photo / File

The thin blue line's effort to engage with social media has been hijacked and used to push everything from debt consolidation to adults-only "dating" sites.

New Zealand Police yesterday kicked-off a global police "tweet-a-thon", where cops use Twitter to update users on what they come across on their shifts.

Officers in eight different countries will tweet for 24 hours to share experiences from the frontline.

The police tweets are viewable to Twitter users who searched #poltwt, and yesterday Kiwi cops took the opportunity to show off their sense of humour.

Counties Manukau police tweeted after being called to a burglary where they tracked the thieves for a kilometre, and found stolen items hidden along the way - including a 60-inch TV.

"That wouldn't draw attention running," they sarcastically tweeted.

However, the tweet-a-thon quickly became a victim of its own popularity, with a search of the hashtag #poltwt bringing up hundreds of spam tweets.

Most were from the accounts of an apparent legion of scantily clad women wanting to push messages entirely unrelated to law and order.

TrishGCrazierop, whose profile picture was of a woman in a bikini in front of a surfboard, asked those searching #poltwt whether they had heard of a particular debt consolidation website.

@BekyztF398, whose profile picture featured a topless woman, posted a link and said "I find myself investing more time about sex websites recently? Is something wrong with me?"

According to an official NZ Police Twitter account, @betterworkstory, #poltwt would provide a "fascinating insight into daily policing".

- NZ Herald

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