Seattle Police Department's Mass Tweet Plan Drives Away Hundreds of Followers

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For most of the day on Tuesday, anyone following @seattlepd on Twitter had their feeds dominated by hundreds of Tweets ranging from "Assault with a weapon in the 4700 block of 9 Ave NE" to "Fireworks in the 1900 block of E Yesler Way."

The Seattle Police Department's plan was to use Twitter to show just how busy officers are. And if busyness is judged by the amount of Tweets posted about calls coming in, then the department certainly proved their point.

Unfortunately, this point was being proved to fewer and fewer people as the department's followers steadily declined over the course of the day.

Around 400 people quit following SPD on Twitter from the time we started watching the feed in the morning to around 4 p.m.

Not that the reaction was entirely negative.

Some hated the constant Tweets.

I think the @SeattlePD is abusing its Twitter followers http://bit.ly/qRzJRg Could be alone on this one.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Others loved them.

One lone voice in wilderness who actually likes @SeattlePD's new tweets. Amazing amount of info which was previously unavail in real time.less than a minute ago via HootSuite Favorite Retweet Reply

And some were just confused.

Whoa. My morning Twitter feed is chock-full of useless auto-tweets from @SeattlePD. Used to just send out blog posts, right?less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

At any rate, if the department was measuring the success of this "12 hour experiment" by how many followers they gained, then the day was most certainly a net negative.

But at the same time, it's hard to criticize any government agency for providing too much information.

So keep at it, SPD. But if you do it again, consider a separate Twitter account.

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