We all know the Internet has an affinity for busting people and calling them out on their wrongdoings — from law infringements to fashion felonies — but what happens when they turn on the authorities?
A new Twitter account, @PPAwatch, has begun posting user-submitted photographs of Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) officials parking in handicapped spots, in front of fire hydrants, and over crosswalks.
The PPA responded by attempting to shut down the account, claiming “logo infringement.” Surely, nobody’s actually buying that?
Twitter did temporarily close the account, though, but reinstated it once the profile picture and background image had been changed. If the PPA were trying to silence the account, the attempt seriously backfired. NBC picked up the story, raising awareness — and the follower count — of @PPAwatch.
Thanks to social media, the law is no longer above the law — but although the PPA have been shamed into defense, whether they’ll be shamed into action remains to be seen.
The founder of @PPAwatch has chosen to remain anonymous, and quite rightly — it’s not his (or her) identity that the PPA should be worrying about, but the identity of the offenders.
All it takes is one tweet — or in this case, one account — to go viral, and social media becomes the great equalizer. Anyone can condemn, and anyone can be condemned.
And, this being the internet, it’s likely that other similar accounts will start to pop up, monitoring law enforcement authorities across the states. And maybe this is what we need to bring some accountability to these people.
Surely, the most dignified way for the PPA to respond to this would be to publicly apologize and reprimand the offenders. Attempting to shut the account down just makes them look worse.
After all, if they can’t police their own employers, how do they expect to police the Twitters?
(Image from Shutterstock)