Hardly a day goes by without a celebrity making gossip news for the off-color, ignorant, or otherwise embarrassing tweet they posted without thinking. Social media has become an invaluable tool for the rich and famous, but it’s also a huge liability. We might expect such blunders from Chris Brown or Lindsay Lohan, but did you know that Twitter gaffes are far from limited to our more infamous celebrities?
It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost two years since Weinergate, former U.S. representative Anthony Weiner’s scandalous twitter behavior involving a photo of body parts that no politician wants online. Though perhaps one of the most sensational, Weiner’s story is hardly the only political gaffe that has graced social media. Below are several other laughable moments in recent political history.
Just last week, a Japanese city tweeted about a nuclear attack that (wait for it) didn’t actually happen. Yokohama’s twitter handle posted a tweet about North Korea launching a nuclear weapon that it had drafted just in case such an event did occur, even including blank spaces for the time of the potential event. The city deleted the tweet, but not until after it had been sent to its 40,000 followers. Not exactly how we want to start World War III.
CNN made a rookie error when reporting the Supreme Court case on Obama’s health care law last year. The news company’s “CNN Breaking News” announced that the court had struck down the individual mandate portion of the law, when in fact the Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 vote to support all portions of the law. CNN corrected its mistake, but was unable to save a lot of face.
Some of the worst tweets come down to nothing more than poor timing. The National Rifle Association (NRA) posted a cringe-worthy tweet on July 20th of last year that may have been perfectly acceptable any other day of the year. The tweet, “Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?”, was sent out mere hours after the tragic movie theater shooting in Aurora, CO. This is a prime example why automatic scheduled tweets may not be worth the convenience.
Republican legislator Pete Hoekstra learned the error of exaggeration when he posted a tweet likening the plight of GOP lawmakers to those participating in Iranian uprisings. The twitter responses heckling Hoekstra as well as the subsequent memes going viral may have been enough to teach Hoekstra a lesson, but weren’t enough to get him to delete his tweet.
We may think celebrities are the only ones committing embarrassing faux pas on social media sites, but politicians prove that they too can make some serious cyber mistakes. #ThinkBeforeYouTweet
Sam Herzing is a social media enthusiast and contributing blogger for Data Recovery Group, which offers data recovery services for cyber blunders of a different nature. Share your funniest twitter gaffes with her by tweeting @samherzing.