Recent Twitter Fails

In the past few days, we've seen several apologies for tweets that were posted without thought-perhaps too quickly. Here are three examples.

1) A Wall Street Journal editor jabbed women who died in the Aurora, CO, shooting. James Taranto explained his tweet in a longer post. (Image source.)


2. Celeb Boutique jumped on "#Aurora" on Twitter, not realizing the hashtag connection to the theater shootings. The company's explanation was that it outsources its Twitter account overseas.


3. Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was expelled from the London Olympics after a tweet some considered racist. The Greek Olympic Committee said that her tweet was "contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement." Apparently, Papchristou has a history of neo-Nazi sympathy. She did respond with this apology: "I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account," she wrote. "I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach on human rights." (Image source.)

Discussion Starters:

  • How could these mistakes have been avoided?
  • How do you assess each writer's explanation? Which do you find most and least acceptable?