The Tantalizingly Temptation of Terrible Twitter

What is it about Twitter? Why is it that prominent people are drawn to the social network like moths to a flame, willing to risk everything just to click the “tweet” button? Maybe it’s the belief that anything goes in the fleeting world of Twitter. Maybe it’s the feeling of anonymity the network offers. Or maybe it’s the belief that tweets have no real consequence outside the Twitter-verse.

All of these ideas are 100% false—as proven by a pair of recent news stories:

Roseanne Racist Tweet Sinks Series

The triumphant return of the sitcom Roseanne to ABC in March after 20 years off the air was one of the biggest TV success stories of the year. Naturally, the show was rewarded with a renewal—and ABC was even planning on building its fall lineup around the program. Alas, all that goodwill was undone in an instant by a tweet.

When the show’s star Roseanne Barr tweeted a racist remark about former President Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett on May 29, ABC moved swiftly to cancel the renewal of her show. In a statement, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.” Barr’s agency also made the decision to drop her.

76ers GM Caught in Bizarre Twitter Web

Like Roseanne, the Philadelphia 76ers were one of the spring’s most surprisingly enjoyable success stories. The NBA team made a name for itself in the playoffs with its rising team of young stars. After years in the dumps, this was now a team with a lot of positive vibes around it… and then the Twitter scandal hit.

On May 29, The Ringer reported on a series of secret Twitter accounts tied to the Philadelphia 76ers general manager (GM) Brian Colangelo. The accounts defended the GM, talked badly about 76ers players and personnel around the league, and revealed sensitive team information. It appears the accounts were either operated by Colangelo himself or someone close to him (potentially his wife), and it’s likely the Twitter activity will cost the GM his job.

The Lesson: What You Tweet Matters

The takeaway here is simple, but one that every brand or individual in a prominent role at a company (large or small) needs to keep in mind. What you tweet is not temporary, private, or anonymous. Think of every tweet as something that will be chiseled in stone and tied to you forever before you click that “tweet” button. Ask yourself: Is it worth it?

Note: We don’t want to discourage brands from using Twitter—which can be a great social marketing tool. We’re just saying the intent of your tweets should always be good, not evil. Sounds simple, but history (and the examples above) have proven it’s not.

  • SOURCE: Deadspin
  • BRANDS: Roseanne, Philadelphia 76ers
  • WHY YOU WILL LOVE IT: You won’t. It’s Twitter at its most terrible.

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