twitter fail – how some people just don’t get it

twitter bird kicking another one from a branch

Think before you tweet!

We’ve all heard it before: “Think before you tweet”. You would say that this is a pretty obvious advice? Well, think again. There are plenty of examples where people clearly did not think hard enough, or, in all fairness, they probably did not think at all. A clear case of twitter fail.

140 characters to share your thoughts in a quick, staccato-style way. Simple, easy, no hassle, done in less than a minute. In today’s world of sharing everything with friends and followers, some people tend to forget that they are sharing everything with everyone. And that sometimes it would be best to think twice before sending the tweet off. Others are very well aware of the reach their tweet can have – and they deliberately go over board with their messages. In either case, a tweet can have wide consequences. In this blog, I’d like to share some cases where a twitter fail cost people their jobs or otherwise affected their careers negatively.

twitter fail #1: bad humor

Catherine Deveny, an Australian comedian, lost her job at the Melbourne newspaper “The Age” after tweeting that Bindi, late Steve Irwin’s (“the crocodile hunter”) 11-year-old daugther, should “get laid“. Despite the fact that Deveny claimed humor to be “very subjective”, the newspaper let her go.

twitter fail #2: employers do tweet too

Connor Riley just got a job offer from Cisco and felt the need to tweet about it:”Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” Shortly after, a Cisco shared the following open tweet: “Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.” Needless to say that Riley did not have to weigh his options anymore…

twitter fail #3: joking at the wrong time

“Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.” said Gilbert Gottfried, a comedian who did commercials for a Japanese insurance company. A very inappropriate and insensitive tweet made shortly after the Tsunami hit. Not surprisingly, Gottfried no longer makes commercials for this Japanese company.

twitter fail #4 Barack Obama and the “White House”

The tumblr-blog “hello there, racists” quoted racist tweets and comments from social media users to publicly blame them. A college student from Tennessee learned the power this public blame. He lost his job over his racist tweet shortly after Barack Obama won the election: “There is a reason why it is called the White House.”


These are not the only thoughtless or stupid tweets that have been published and certainly there will be many more to come. So, let’s not forget about the advice of thinking before tweeting. Actually, maybe we should amend it a little and say: Think twice before you tweet.”

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