Most Spectacular Social Media Twitter Fails of 2011

Meredith Darling | @merdar 2011 was an interesting year for Twitter. We have a lot to thank for that such as auto correct mishaps, Justin Bieber, and the hackings of The Script Kiddies. Below are some of the most notable Twitter fails that caused a social media stir.

Why using bloodshed to promote your spring line is a bad idea Case Study: Kenneth Cole

Hashtag hijacking: using a completely unrelated hashtag in your post to disrupt the conversation. I do not advise doing this. I especially don't advise doing this with a sensitive issue, such as the political uproar and violence in Egypt. @KennethCole learned their lesson when they used the popular #Cairo hashtag to advertise their latest fashion collection. It should also be noted that this tweet came from Kenneth Cole himself according to the twitter bio, "Thoughts that end in -KC are from me personally; others are behind the seams insights from my inspiring associates." Cole later apologized for the tweet, saying it was an attempt on humor even though backlash and boycotts followed. Lesson: Don't hashtag hijack.

How one tweet can end a career Case Study: Anthony Weiner

It should go without saying that sending Twitter followers lewd pictures of yourself online is a bad idea, but it is definitely a bad idea to do so when you are a married public figure, in congress... oh and with a kid on the way. Yes, I am talking about Anthony Weiner. After a week or so of claiming his account @RepWeiner was hacked, Weiner admitted to the reports and that he has engaged in flirtations with women online before and during his marriage. On June 8th a number of house members asked for his resignatation, which he agreed to 8 days later. It's been more than six months since the scandal made headlines and new reports continue to pile in. Lesson: Don't put anything online you wouldn't want the whole world to see.

How to make mistakes the right way Case Study: Red Cross

When an organization many of us have donated volunteer hours, money, and blood to tweets about beer and getting "slizzered" it is bound to make headlines. An intern was to thank for this, who accidentely posted on the @RedCross account instead of his personal Twitter while using HootSuite. It wasn't long before they fixed their mistake and responded accordingly, "We've deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we've confiscated the keys." Luckily for them, this error resulted in donations from many followers who understand to err is human, including tweets of support from @Dogfishbeer. Read about their faux pas on their blog here. Lesson: When using HootSuite (or any posting tool) schedule in advance and preview tweet before publishing, or have a separate account for personal use.

Other notable fails

  • The Aflac duck lost his voice: Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) tweeted "Japan called me. They said 'maybe those jokes are a hit in the U.S., but over here, they're all sinking.' " Aflac fired him almost immediately.
  • Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) tweeted this little number surrounding the Penn State Sandusky scandal. "How do you fire Jo Pa? As a Hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste". He soon turned over Twitter control to his management team. Read the full story here.

And now I'll leave you with words of 2011 YouTube sensation Rebecca Black...

"It’s Friday, Friday Gotta get down on Friday Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend."