As more and more jump onto Twitter, the instances of regretful comments and tweets being posted on the social platform seem to be only increasing. This Christmas week saw two high-profile gaffes made on Twitter – one tweeted by an experienced PR executive, the other by comedian, actor and writer Steve Martin. On December 20th, a PR executive published a “needless and careless tweet” prior to leaving for a trip to South Africa. Many considered the tweet hateful and by the time the executive had landed in South Africa, not only did she have to face a media frenzy, she also had to face being dismissed from her job.
Several days later, Steve Martin was thrown into the spotlight when he sent a tweet that some also considered offensive. As Steve Martin commented after making a public apology for the tweet, “It’s your brain, a button, then millions of reactions”.
Yet two more unfortunate stories demonstrating how quickly things travel in the online world and how quickly and easily a reputation can be tarnished.