The Mall of America launched a new Twitter campaign Monday asking people to share their stories about going to the mall. But it's probably not turning out the way they'd expected.
The MOA's senior vice president of marketing sent out this tweet, encouraging people to use the #ItsMyMall hashtag to participate in the promotion.
But the Twitter campaign quickly turned bad for the mall, as people involved in the Black Lives Matter protest on Dec. 20 tweeted disparaging remarks about the MOA and its handling of the demonstration that day.
The protest, on one of the busiest shopping days of the holiday season, brought an estimated 3,000 people to the mall.
The crowd, which included people of different races and ages, was protesting recent incidents of what they described as police brutality in Ferguson, Mo. and Staten Island, NY, where white police officers killed suspects who were black.
The protest was largely peaceful and there was no property damage reported. But there was a heavy police presence and portions of the mall were shut down for a time while the protest was going on. Police eventually escorted the crowd outside.
Eleven organizers were charged with trespassing by the Bloomington city attorney, who said the demonstrators had been warned repeatedly that they faced arrest if they went through with the protest because the Mall of America is private property.
It seemed more Twitter followers used the hashtag to protest the mall than to share positive memories.
Mall officials released a statement Tuesday night, according to the Star Tribune, which read in part:
"Many have rallied in support and offered personal stories about why the mall is important in their lives. The goal of the #ItsMyMall campaign is to give voice to other fans of the mall and provide an opportunity to share through social media their thoughts, pictures and videos expressing why Mall of America is special to them.
"We recognize that some individuals are trying to redirect this campaign for their own purposes. That’s unfortunate, but it will not impact our efforts."