Jan. 11, 2012 file photo of actor Ashton Kutcher. In 2011, Kutcher made a controversial statement on Twitter about the firing of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in the midst of the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal.
Keeping a close eye on your social media accounts is more important than ever. Our social profiles are a mouse click away from not only our friends, but also our colleagues and potential employers. Not even celebrities are free from social media blunders, many of which have been made on Twitter. Learn their lessons the easy way and think twice before you tweet.
• Charlie Sheen
Sheen took the Twittersphere by storm during his public spat with the creators of the show in which he starred, Two and a Half Men. In the midst of his rants, he managed to popularize hashtags such as #tigerblood, gain a new wave of followers with his bizarre tweets and, most notably, insult his former co-workers by referring to them as “trolls.”
Lesson: Sheen lost any chance to get what he wanted when he began to publicly insult those with whom he worked. It’s important to keep in mind that professionalism should be considered before venting your latest frustration to the rest of the world. Losing an opportunity — or even worse, your job — over 140 characters sure wouldn’t feel like #winning.
• Ashton Kutcher
In 2011, Kutcher made comment of the dismissal of Penn State’s football coach, Joe Paterno, with the tweet: “How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste.” However his followers found his tweet in poor taste given the circumstances of the coach’s dismissal. (It was felt that Paterno failed to appropriately handle information regarding former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and his involvement in child sex abuse.)
Lesson: Make sure you have the facts. Kutcher deleted the tweet soon after realizing there was more to the story, but not soon enough. He apologized and announced that he would be handing over his Twitter account to professionals. Take advantage of your resources and ensure you’re educated on what you’re commenting on to avoid looking uninformed or inconsiderate.
• Chris Brown
Brown found himself in the midst of a Twitter feud sparked by a tweet from comedian Jenny Johnson, who made comment of Brown’s arrest in 2009 following the abuse of his ex-girlfriend, and fellow star, Rihanna. Brown’s rebuttal was a series of unforgiving and sexually graphic insults, which came to an end with the (temporary) deletion of his account.
Lesson: Brown clearly crossed a line and it resulted in yet another hit to his reputation. You may not tweet as explicitly as he did, but it is important to remember that appropriateness is key. If you wouldn’t say it in front of your mother, refrain from sharing it with the world. A seemingly harmless tweet could tarnish your reputation as well.
• Tina Fey
Fey, along with fellow celebrities Rupert Grint, Keira Knightley, Mila Kunis and Jon Stewart are some that have refrained from Twitter altogether. Why? They give reasons such as not having anything worth sharing, busy schedules or an attempt to keep their lives somewhat private.
Lesson: Celebrities may have their reasons, but social media is taking the world by storm and Twitter is a large part of it. If you haven’t given thought to creating an account, you should. It gives you an opportunity to stay current, connect with professionals and network.
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