How Not To Use Social Media: Anonymous Targets Edition

Over the past few years, I’ve seen a few people sending a type of tweet that bothers me.

In this type of social media post, the poster takes a photo of an unknowing and formerly anonymous target, tweets it out, and adds some snarky or derogatory comment about them.

As an example, one health and fitness expert I followed tweeted a photo of a woman on her train eating an entire full-sized bag of potato chips. Her snarky caption said something like, “Disgusting!”

Delete Key iStockPhoto PPT

Is It A Bad Idea To Delete An Offensive Tweet?

A public relations professional recently argued that people who tweet something offensive shouldn’t delete it.

Deleting the offensive tweet doesn’t make it go away, he argued, and sometimes the fact that a person deleted it only makes the story bigger.

That may be true, but I disagree. Deleting offensive tweets makes sense for several reasons. But there’s one mandatory step people must take before pressing the “delete” key.


Bad Tweet Gets This Man Fired—But Look How He Handled It

Chad Shanks, the man tasked with running digital communications for the Houston Rockets, was fired on Wednesday after sending the following tweet just before his team defeated the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night:

As you can see from the number of times his message was retweeted, his tweet quickly became the source of Twitter conversation. Some


The Dark Side Of Social Media: An Inevitable New Service

This post is by Christina Mozaffari, vice president for Phillips Media Relations.

Social media is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, there’s an expectation that we maximize the amazing tools available to us to interact personally with customers and people we want to influence. However, these personal interactions also create plenty of room to get


Is “Think Before You Post” Dangerous Advice?

In my book, The Media Training Bible, I offered what I thought was an incontrovertible recommendation regarding social media: “The best advice is also the simplest: before hitting ‘send’ on any post, pause and review it one final time.”

But I recently read something that made me wonder whether that advice is sufficient.

That’s because some sites—including


What We Owe Justine Sacco

The most-viewed article on The New York Times website today is about Justine Sacco, the PR executive whose infamous tweet from December 2013 sent her life—and her career—into turmoil.

The article, titled “How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life,” paints a sympathetic portrait of Sacco (and others) who have endured the painful wrath of


A Tale From First Class: My Complaints And Gripes

I recently flew first class from New York to London. I was immediately impressed when I boarded and saw my seat, one of those private pods that folds down into a horizontal bed. The flight attendant greeted me warmly, gave me a hot towel, and handed me a menu full of delicious-sounding food choices. This,


Social Media Fail: Let’s Make Fun Of Mental Illness!

JOY—the fashion and lifestyle chain that has 26 locations throughout the United Kingdom—is the latest brand to create unnecessary controversy by tweeting something stupid.

The trouble started yesterday when a customer complained via Twitter about a greeting card that the store has for sale.

At first glance, I didn’t find this card offensive. But that’s the

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