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What appears to be the official Twitter account of the Uttar Pradesh Police, makes for a rather fascinating study, given its approach to tweets, retweets and interactions with others on Twitter and the views they’re sharing. This makes me sound prejudiced, but it’s quite unusual too see how articulate, open and opinionated the officials managing the account are, regarding media reports, the things they’re saying about police reforms and their approach to Social Media. Remember that in India, the police are usually not approachable, people hesitate before going to the police station, and policemen are often seen flouting the law: there is fear, and scant respect, not all of it undeserved. However, as is the case with most things related to a government administration, the Police gets flack for what they do wrong, and very little credit for when they get things right.

The UP Police appears to be addressing some of these issues and engaging with users on twitter, creating a Facebook presence, giving out their helpline number asking users to text them at In emergencies +919453005341 in case of an emergency, and even creating a flipboard magazine, with police news. The Twitter account in particular is interesting: they’re seeking community support, taking complaints, sharing initiatives being taken by them, informing people of their rights. Interestingly, they’re also countering unsubstantiated reports in the media with their own version of events. Frankly, given how opinionated they are about some things, I wonder how long they’ll be able to keep this up, but it’s pleasantly surprising to see how well they’ve taken to the medium. To address the anger and the hate that government bodies and celebrities are subjected to on Twitter requires a thick skin, patience and conviction. Where it has been a little tricky are their #PaidMedia tweets, but all in all, it’s a fascinating case study of of offence, defense, community building and managing public relations in what is an otherwise hostile environment.

What’s also interesting is that even though this in not a verified Twitter account, they’ve attempted to instill trust by linking to the account from the UP Police’s official Twitter page. The plan, according to them, is to expand social media initiatives to 21 Police districts. Observations, via an aggregation of selected tweets from the UP Police PR account (warning – LOTS of tweets below):

Informing people of their rights & on how to seek help

Taking Complaints on Twitter

Addressing Trust & Verification issues

Recruiting Community Support and Taking suggestions

Highlighting Actions Taken By The Police Against Errant Policemen

Addressing Rumors & Taking On The Media

Recruitment