The NSW Police TikTok account is seemingly blocking users who stitch and duet its videos. A great look!
ICYMI (lucky you) the NSW Police has started a TikTok account. It’s gone about as well as you might expect.
The Police force has jumped on a load of TikTok trends in the fortnight since it started the account. The hashtag #copsoftiktok on the account’s first TikTok is particularly cursed.
@nswpolice So we did a thing #nswpolice #copsoftiktok #fyp ♬ reading rainbow ft lil jon – Cursed Mashups
Pretty much immediately, users started stitching the NSW Police TikToks with screenshots of media articles about police conduct.
Ben Vance aka @easymoneyvancey was one of the most prolific posters. He’s stitched vids with screenshots of articles about police strip-searching children, NSW police officers keeping their jobs after being convicted of domestic violence and First Nations deaths in custody.
@easymoneyvancey #duet with @nswpolice ♬ GET SILLY LEEDELLEEDELLEDELLEE – Dracos
@easymoneyvancey #duet with @nswpolice ♬ original sound – bmetz
@easymoneyvancey #duet with @nswpolice yeah how gooodddd #nsw ♬ reading rainbow ft lil jon – Cursed Mashups
Vance told PEDESTRIAN.TV part of the reason he began stitching the videos is because he believes in public transparency.
He made all of his stitches in the space of the day. He reckons it took the NSW Police TikTok between 24 and 36 hours to block him.
@easymoneyvancey They’ve blocked me… shock… tag them in the comments xx #nswpol #nswpolice #stopblackdeathsincustody #stopdv ♬ Fuck Tha Police – N.W.A.
Since making his videos, Vance says he’s seen multiple people stitching his original stitches. They’ve also been shared across Facebook and Twitter.
For example writer Catherine Bouris tweeted about Vancey’s blocking. The Tweet’s received more than 18,000 likes.
lol nsw police blocked this guy on tiktok for duetting all of their videos with articles about police misconduct, brutality and deaths in custody pic.twitter.com/4cLI7VLWuW— cathy (@catherinebouris) April 19, 2022
“It’s more just about the lack of transparency. Like this information is already out there,” he told PEDESTRIAN.TV.
He then pointed to the fact that the information he shared is from government websites and respected media outlets.
“It’s all over the internet, this police and state misconduct,” Vance continued.
“But the fact that they’re actively trying to discourage it being discussed on a public forum and then not acknowledged that there’s an issue there.
“They’ve just gone and straight up deleted it or block. I feel is like is part of the issue – here’s no acceptance there.”
He also pointed out the NSW Police is a government entity.
“I do get that online forums are a public forum and you try to put your best foot forward as a brand,” Vance said.
“But I feel like government agencies have to separate themselves from being a brand, because they are funded by the government and they have been used for illegitimate purposes in my opinion.”
And he’s not the only user claiming he’s been blocked. Another user @biglublyleanne stitched a NSW Police TikTok with a video about Indigenous deaths in custody.
She then made another video showing she’d been blocked by NSW Police in the same day.
@biglublyleanne #nojusticenopeace you can give Indigenous people the heat mercilessly but can’t take it 🥰 #fyp ♬ Fuck Tha Police – N.W.A.
NSW Police has also turned off stitches and duets on its TikToks. I wonder why!
It raises some questions about the presence of cops on social media. Why join a public social media platform if you’re not willing to be held accountable on it? You can’t engage with memes and lighthearted content without anticipating backlash.
There’s a mixed bag of comments underneath the NSW Police TikTok account. A number of users are supportive of the account and its content. But others have gone absolutely in.
One vid posted by the NW Police TikTok account is essentially a recruitment vid.
It’s captioned “If you’re seeing this, it’s a sign to join the NSW Police Force”.
@nswpolice If you’re seeing this, it’s a sign to join the NSW Police Force ✨ Search ‘NSW Police Jobs’, call 1800 222 122 or visit our website #RecruitingNow #nswpolice #copsoftiktok #fyp ♬ Originalton – POV’s
One user called out the decision to recruit on TikTok.
“Marketing to children… now that’s a new low even for the police,” they wrote.
Another video was about double demerits over the Easter long weekend.
@nswpolice Can’t say we didn’t warn you #doubledemerits #nswpolice #copsoftiktok #fyp ♬ original sound – bmetz
Users in the comments slammed the NSW Police for claiming double demerits made the roads safe.
“Fix the roads and stop revenue raising when people are already struggling… not ok,” said one.
“Yeah good job at keeping the roads ‘safe’,” said another user.
What’s clear from the NSW Police TikTok is that it’s clearly across the dominant trends and language on the app. And it’s working for some people.
But equally, TikTokers are using the app to put extra scrutiny on the police too.
At the moment NSW and WA are the only police forces with TikTok. WA Police also has stitches and duets turned off.
Whether other state police forces decide getting in on some memes is worth the level of public scrutiny remains to be seen.
PEDESTRIAN.TV has reached out to NSW Police for comment.