New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s tip line–for where New Yorkers can snitch on their fellow citizens for breaching social distancing rules–has backfired spectacularly, with trolls exploiting the service, inundating the line with penis pictures, the middle finger, and memes involving the former Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler.
News coverage of the New York mayor hitting the gym on Saturday was also posted beneath the tweet posted by De Blasio’s official account, as residents of the Big Apple vented their frustration at the request.
In a tweet which read, “How do you report places that aren’t enforcing social distancing? It’s simple: just snap a photo and text it to 311-692,” the mayor’s office encouraged people to enforce social distancing by reporting people to the above number.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 18, 2020
Several social media users also took to the platform to call out De Blasio’s act calling him a “communist.”
One account tweeted, “Let’s see what he does during Ramadan,” referring to how a double standard may be applied in policing social distancing rules.
Comrade citizen! Report all suspected anti-distancing activities to friendly New York Ministry of Social Cleanliness! pic.twitter.com/1RiSehqakS
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) April 18, 2020
“Comrade citizen! Report all suspected anti-distancing activities to friendly New York Ministry of Social Cleanliness!” tweeted another user.
“And just like that, you went full blown fascist,” commented a former Republican congressional candidate who stood against Nancy Pelosi.
— Ned 抗流感。 (@nedpickle) April 19, 2020
Here’s your subway, dolt pic.twitter.com/GeszIqpawA
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) April 19, 2020
I just texted my report pic.twitter.com/46POdNc9Pb
— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) April 18, 2020
— Jason Hirsh (@JHirsh5280) April 18, 2020
I'd like to report a crime https://t.co/g5ujHDj9eP
— Stultus (@StultusVox) April 18, 2020
Here’s one from last night. pic.twitter.com/Di2iEbXqNz
— JimRockaway (@JimRockaway) April 18, 2020
According to the New York Post, the NYPD reported pictures of penises being sent via text to the tip line.
Reports of police acting outside their purview to enforce social distancing around the world.
In the United Kingdom, a police officer threatened to “make something up” to arrest a stubborn, but innocent, man.
The UK police were also filmed breaking down a man’s front door for having the TV on too loud after police believed the man was hosting a party, thereby flouting social distancing rules.