Our still-primitive social skills haven’t adjusted to modern technology. Information ubiquity, amplification and preservation have cursed our social interactions. As a result, our conversational indiscretions can’t be hidden. “Oh, that? I was just mumbling!” Instead, our mistakes are etched in digital granite. And no platform presents greater problems than Twitter. In fact, of Mashable.com’s eleven greatest social media disasters of 2012, nine involved wayward Tweeting, each of which are summarized here in less than 140 characters:
1. With McdStories, “McDonald’s paid to promote a trend that showered the company in bad publicity.” #oops
2. Snickers paid celebrities in the UK to tweet pictures of themselves eating Snickers bars. Not allowed. #illegal.
3. American Rifleman posted a pro-gun tweet as the mass shooting in Aurora CO was unfolding. #dumb #whatweretheythinking
4. CelebBoutique posted a promotional Tweet using #Aurora to exploit a trending topic, without knowing why it was trending. #insensitive #stupid
5. A Microsoft employee criticized conservative pundit Ann Coulter from Microsoft’s Twitter account, not from his own. #oops
6. A KitchenAid employee made a disparaging Tweet about Obama’s grandmother. #firethisidiot
7. A Stubhub employee used the f-word in a company Tweet. #firethisidiot
8. American Apparel offered discounts to ‘bored customers’ during Hurricane Sandy. #insensitive #stupid
9. At the height of Hurricane Sandy, the Gap encouraged people to do online shopping. #idiotic
“Somewhere, somehow, somebody will Tweet something stupid.”—a corollary to Murphy’s Law for the digerati. The ol’ slip of the tongue, seen by 13,797 followers, viral, searchable, and archived forever for millions more!