Social media has given us the tools to post our opinions and our itineraries to the world in real-time. It’s a powerful medium to boost opportunity and seek prominence. However, those same tools have been used to say some stupid things and provoke the ire of the Internet masses. Here are three examples of when stupid posts land people in hot water.
For instance when the basketball world’s eyes were fixated on phenom Jeremy Lin, Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock tweeted after the New York Knicks-LA Lakers game: “Some lucky lady in NYC is going to feel a couple of inches of pain tonight.” He was criticized from many fronts in the social media universe, including a stern rebuke from the Asian American Journalists Association on their Facebook page calling for him to apologize for debasing “one of sports’ feel-good moments.” Whitlock backpedaled in a statement to Fox Sports Sunday, saying that the “tweet overshadowed my sincere celebration of Lin’s performance and the irony that the stereotype applies to pot-bellied, overweight male sports writers, too.” No word yet on whether the Fox Sports commentator will get a suspension for his tweet, but CNN commentator Roland Martin got a suspension for his tweet about H&M’s David Beckham Super Bowl commercial.
While members of the media have said stupid stuff that could potentially lead to a pink slip, the general public that make up the vast majority of tweets are also infected with foot in mouth disease. When R&B artist (and convicted felon) Chris Brown performed at the Grammy Awards Sunday night, a bevy of females took to Twitter to post some disturbing comments—despite his violent attack on Rihanna after the same awards ceremony three years ago. For instance, a user by the name of steph_freddd32 tweeted: “I don’t know why Rihanna complained. Chris Brown could beat me anytime he wanted to.” Naturally, the Twittersphere wasn’t so forgiving in their attacks against such troubling postings. The more heated responses included: “you are a disgrace to the female gender. It’s disgusting to see you accepting and even applauding domestic violence. IDIOT” The user in question has now entered the shame phase by protecting her tweets.
Not filtering what you say on social media could also lead to legal trouble as well. Take for instance two British tourists detained last month in Los Angeles for tweets about coming out to “destroy America” and “diggin’ Marilyn Monroe up.” Despite the explanation from Leigh Van Bryan that “destroy” in British slang meant to get drunk and the Marilyn Monroe reference was from a “Family Guy” episode, Homeland Security still booted the two back to Britain.
In this age of open social media, anything you post, tweet, or blog can and will be used against you. You have been warned.