What Happens on Social Media Stays on forever!.. Oops!
In the interest of living and learning (and convincing ourselves that these massive slip-ups will never, ever happen to us), here are some of the recent biggest social media fails.
- US embassy’s gaffe – With the match barely a quarter of the way through, the US embassy’s official Twitter account posted a message hailing Afghanistan’s “victory” “Congratulations to #Afghanistan for their win over #Bangladesh in the Cricket World Cup #CWC15 #AFGvsBAN,” the message said. An apologetic response from the embassy followed later “Premature posting but we are still cheering for team Afghanistan at the #CWC15! #AFGvsBAN,”.
- Doughnut-maker Krispy Kreme has apologized after scheduling an event called “KKK Wednesday” at a store in the UK. Krispy Kreme was due to host KKK Wednesday (KKK meaning “Krispy Kreme Klub”) on Feb. 18, at its store in Hull, which it had promoted via a post on its Facebook page. The company has since removed the post from the page and issued an apology.
- LG’s mockery of iPhones backfires – LG tried to make fun of Apple’s #bendgate by tweeting from the LG France account that “Our smartphones don’t bend, they are naturally curved ;).” The only problem: The tweet was sent from an iPhone.
- McDonald’s tries new mascot hashtag – McDonald’s tried to celebrate the debut of a new version of its famous mascot with the hashtag #RonaldMcDonald. The plan backfired when nearly all of the responses on Twitter bashed the clown’s makeover and the restaurant chain’s food.
- Delta giraffe gaffe – Delta Airlines only wanted to congratulate the US on winning the World Cup game 2-1. So they sent a tweet showing the Statue of Liberty to represent the US and used a giraffe to symbolize Ghana — but giraffes aren’t native to Ghana. We’re sorry for our choice of photo in our previous tweet. Best of luck to all teams.— Delta (@Delta) June 17, 2014
- Cheerio – Cheerios’ Super Bowl ad featured a 6-year-old girl and her interracial parents, and someone at MSNBC figured everyone but conservatives would enjoy it. A tweet from the company’s account read, “Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awwww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family.” MSNBC President Phil Griffin fired an employee and personally apologized following the “outrageous and unacceptable” tweet.
- MasterCard’s hashtag hijack – PR firm representing MasterCard tried to require journalists to mention the credit card company on social media to get press credentials for the Brit Awards. The journalists were instructed to use the hashtag #PricelessSurprises. They did so, but not exactly how MasterCard had hoped.
- US Airways’ NSFW tweet – When responding to a customer on Twitter, US Airways included an incredibly inappropriate picture. It was deleted about an hour later, and the airline apologized, claiming that someone had been trying to flag the image and accidentally copied and pasted it in the customer service tweet.
- Twitter CFO gaffe – In November, Twitter CFO Anthony Noto slipped up and tweeted a message that was probably meant to be a private direct message. The tweet, which was quickly deleted, read: “I still think we should buy them. He is on your schedule for Dec 15 or 16–we will need to sell him. i have a plan.” The message is thought to have been referring to Twitter’s plans to acquire the selfie app Shots, which is backed by Justin Bieber.
- DiGiorno #WhyIStayed – The pizza company jumped on a hashtag about domestic violence — but clearly didn’t understand the context. DiGiorno deleted the tweet within minutes, and issued an apology. “A million apologies. Did not read what the hashtag was about before posting.”