We’ve all said things we regret from time to time, but in the age of social media it can be difficult to take words back. For most of us, a simple click on the ‘delete’ button can minimize the damage caused by an unfortunate turn of phrase, but if you’re in the public eye, you’re under even greater scrutiny; say the wrong thing, and it goes viral instantly. Here are just a few examples of celebrity tweeting gone wrong.
The amiable weatherman and Today Show fixture is a media darling, but he was not feeling the love on Twitter when on jury duty in 2009. While serving, Al snapped and posted pictures of potential jurors on his Twitter account, later claiming this violation of court rules was “inadvertent.” Newspapers had a field day, and Roker subsequently issued an apology to officials at Manhattan’s Criminal Court.
In late October, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy bore down on much of the Eastern U.S., Lindsay Lohan, an actress who is all-too-familiar with controversy, posted uninformed and insensitive comments about the pending storm, wondering: “WHY is everyone in SUCH a panic about hurricane (i’m calling it Sally)…?”
To make matters even more bewildering, Lohan had previously retweeted a message from the Red Cross, urging followers to review family emergency plans in advance of the storm.
Actor Charlie Sheen, another actor who is no stranger to controversy, has committed numerous “twit-trocities” through the years, mixing it up with fellow actors and exes. One of his more notable no-nos occurred when he accidentally posted his personal phone number to his more than 5 million Twitter followers. Charlie was attempting to send a personal message to Justin Bieber, and this social media slip-up prompted thousands of unwanted calls and texts, leaving Sheen no choice but to disconnect the number.
Although the general consensus among social media professionals is for people and businesses to be forthright, like all things in life, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. These examples demonstrate the pitfalls of tweeting from the hip and help explain why many celebrities employ the social media services of ghost tweeters. From Paris Hilton to Britney Spears to 50 Cent, many have come to understand that social media is more than just a means of fan interaction. It’s another tool with which they can promote themselves and their brands.
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