Some Twitter Horror Stories
We all know the power of Facebook but what about the power of Twitter? How much influence can one single 140 character tweet cause? Well here are some twitter horror stories.
I am Spartacus
27 year old English trainee accountant Paul Chambers’ life was shattered all because of a single tweet. He had met a girl online and had planned a trip to Northern Ireland to meet her. He was worried that the flight from Robin Hood Airport near where he lived would be cancelled due to bad weather, he posted the following tweet on Tweeter,
“Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your **#$#$ together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”
Soon afterwards, police came to his house and arrested him. Not only that, he was prosecuted and convicted under the legislation that he was a nuisance caller. He appealed this but was rejected. The presiding judge called his original tweet “menacing in its content.” Chambers – who lost his job after his conviction – was ordered to pay his original fine of 1000 pounds, plus a further 2000 pounds legal bill.
What was interesting was the fact that fellow tweeters all over the world rallied to support Chambers, thousands retweeting his original message with the hash tag “I am Spartacus” which is a reference to Roman slaves’ support of their downtrodden hero.
Stephen Fry who is a well known tweeter has offered to pay Chambers’ fine and costs while Chambers now lives with this girl in Northern Ireland!
In 2009 James Andrews who is a public relations executive for PR firm Ketchum, flew to Memphis to talk to one of his company’s largest clients, international freight company FedEx. Funnily enough, he was there to talk about harnessing social media. However, as his plane landed he posted the following tweet,
“True confession but I’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say ‘I would die if I had to live here!’”
By the afternoon of the same day, a senior FedEx executive had emailed a reply which said “Mr Andrews, if I interpret your post correctly, these are your comments about Memphis a few hours after arriving in the global headquarters city of one of your key and lucrative clients, and the home of arguably one of the most important entrepreneurs in the history of business, FedEx founder Fred Smith. Many of my peers and I feel this is inappropriate. We do not know the total millions of dollars FedEx Corporation pays Ketchum annually for the valuable and important work you do for us around the globe. We are confident, however, it is enough to expect a greater level of respect and awareness from someone in your position…A hazard of social networking is people will read what you write…”
Of course, Andrews response contained pleading on bended knee. Ketchum released this statement, “It was a lapse in judgment and we’ve apologized to our client. We greatly value this long-standing client relationship. It is our privilege to work with them.”
That’s just two horror stories involving a single tweet. Have you heard similar or had something happen to you? Then add it to the comments below. Either way, it goes to show the power that Twitter has.