A Mall of America campaign on Twitter to encourage people to share their experiences at the mall appears to have backfired in a spectacular way.
Jill Renslow, senior vice president of development and marketing for the Mall of America, tweeted Monday that the mall was launching the #ItsMyMall hashtag to encourage the community to share Mall of America stories – and qualify for a $500 weekly prize.
— Jill Renslow (@jrenslow) March 24, 2015
By Tuesday evening, the hashtag was trending on Twitter, but probably not in the way mall officials intended.
Members of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis were among many Twitter users who recounted their encounters with police at the mall by using the hashtag.
That one time 3,000 of our closest friends showed up to sing carols and were met with riot gear. #itsmymall
— Black Lives MPLS (@BlackLivesMpls) March 24, 2015
Members of the group Black Lives Matter organized a Dec. 20 protest of at least 1,500 people at the mall that was part of a nationwide wave of protests following grand jury decisions in Missouri and New York not to indict white police officers who killed black men.
Although the protest was largely peaceful and there was no property damage reported, Bloomington City Attorney filed trespassing and other charges against some of the protesters and said they face thousands of dollars in fines and restitution for extra security costs.
Some Twitter followers used the hashtag to protest the charges.
— Pamela Cook (@uccwomanist) March 24, 2015